Deep sea fishing, flats, trolling or baitcasting on a lake, or wading in a pristine mountain river, anglers will all tell you they need high-quality polarized sunglasses on the water.
With so many options, narrowing down the best fishing sunglasses for your adventures can be challenging. So we’ve analyzed the most popular polarized eyewear brands (many designed or founded by anglers), to come up with a list of what we think are truly the best fishing sunglasses this year.
The best fishing sunglasses block wind, provide full coverage and UV protection, are lightweight, and most importantly, block glare (allowing you to see below the surface of the water and keeping your eyes comfortable). This guide will help you learn everything you need to know about fishing sunglasses: why the lenses are typically polarized, your options for prescription and bifocal lenses, and how to find the best fishing sunglasses for you.
If your favorite place is on the water, you're probably familiar with the discomfort caused by glare. Anglers everywhere squint, turn their heads, and brace for glare, eye strain, and washed-out colors—except the anglers wearing polarized fishing sunglasses.
Polarized lens coatings work specifically to cut glare that reflects off horizontal surfaces like water, snow, and roads. The result? Amazingly clear, sharp, and glare-free vision, even in the high-glare environments that are the angler's natural habitat.
However, polarized lenses alone do not offer protection from UV damage. Only 100% UV blocking lenses can provide that. But polarization can easily be combined with UV protection—make sure to look for both in your fishing sunglasses.
Many fishing sunglasses are available with prescription lenses, including prescription bifocal lenses. This is a popular option among people who spend time on the water. Polarization is one reason many anglers who wear glasses opt for a dedicated pair of fishing sunglasses with prescription lenses. Anglers also tend to appreciate the sports-specific fit, wraparound eye protection, and maximum coverage for maximum glare reduction in their fishing sunglasses.
If you've noticed it's getting a little difficult to thread the hook while you're on the water, you may want to opt for a pair of polarized fishing sunglasses with readers. You're experiencing presbyopia, a condition everyone does, usually beginning in their mid-40s. The eye's lens loses flexibility, which makes it more difficult to focus on close-up objects.
There is not a single pair of fishing sunglasses that will be the best option for everyone. After you establish the right prescription or magnification options, you'll need to consider lens color and fit.
The best fishing sunglasses for you will be the ones that fit you best. A proper fit provides better vision, better protection, and more comfort. When looking for your pair, consider:
With these requirements in mind, we’ve assembled what we think are the best polarized sunglasses of the year, in a variety of categories:
From its inception, Costa has designed sunglasses for anglers facing harsh light conditions on the water. The maker continues its dedication to engineering the best fishing sunglasses in the Rincon frame. With a slight wrap to block sun in your peripheral vision and industry-leading glare-cutting polarized lenses, the Rincon is a favorite choice of anglers everywhere.
Long ago fishing lost its reputation as a boys’ club. These days, you’ll find equal representation on the water, and you’re likely to see skiffs and rafts with all-female crews. As the best women’s sunglasses for fishing, the Anaa combines Costa’s top-of-the-line polarized lens technology with a modern, smaller frame that doesn’t sacrifice the performance professional and recreational anglers demand.
While Maui Jim sunglasses were originally created for sailing teams, anglers quickly discovered the benefits of the brand’s polarized lenses. Both sports require optimal vision in some of the harshest sun, with constant glare bouncing off the open water. The Maui Jim World Cup was designed to block open water glare with its PolarizedPlus2™ lens technology, while blocking wind with its full wrap design. Traveling 40 knots on an America’s Cup yacht or navigating a skiff to get to the flats, requires the same eyewear performance, and that’s why the Maui Jim World Cup gets our vote for the best fishing sunglasses for sight fishing.
When you’re on the water 200-plus days a year, you tend to develop strong opinions about your gear. With the help of their many pro guides, Smith developed the Guide’s Choice sunglasses for those who demand the best from their fishing sunglasses. From red fish guides in Louisiana to trout bums in Montana, the Guide’s Choice gets a resounding vote of confidence as the best fly-fishing sunglasses on the planet.
Threading hook eyes and tying knots can be a nightmare without your prescription. But what about when you need your prescription, plus the benefits of polarized fishing sunglasses? Prescription sunglasses for fishing like the Wiley X WX Peak allow you to see clearly on the water, with your own vision-correcting prescription. The WX Peak gets our vote for the best prescription fishing sunglasses for its wraparound design and the tactical performance that has made Wiley X the favorite brand of sunglasses for the most demanding outdoor adventurers. Pair your prescription with the bronze lens for trout fishing on rivers or smoke green for saltwater adventures.