Peter WilkinsAuthor: Peter Wilkins
Last Updated: September, 2019

fishing sunglasses

When I head out for a day of fishing there is one item I make sure I NEVER forget!That is a quality pair of polarized fishing sunglasses.

The benefits of a good pair of glasses are countless, not only do they provide the necessary protection from the suns harmful UV rays, they also provide a competitive advantage when fishing. Polarized sunglasses block out a lot of the suns glare from the top of the water allowing you to see beyond the surface and identify fish hiding below the surface. Remove the glare and you can then see the bass hiding behind a fallen tree, a trout swimming upstream or bait schools in the shallows.

What we look for in polarized fishing sunglasses

There are a wide range of polarized fishing sunglasses on the market, but which one should you choose? Well we hope to answer that question for you based on comparing a range of different factors including:

  • Frame design and weight
  • Frame construction and durability
  • Lens quality and scratch resistance
  • Cost

With this in mind, hopefully we can provide enough useful information so you can find yourself a quality pair of polarized fishing sunglasses that suit your lifestyle and personal comfort.

”I’ve got pretty sensitive eyes from working on computers pretty much the last 20 years, so when I go fishing I must always have a good pair of sunglasses with me.

Not only do they protect my eyes from harmful UV rays, they also are an advantage when looking for structure and fish as well as navigating the boat through chop and swell.

Tight lines!”

Matt, Focus Fishing.

Focus Fishing Matt

Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses for 2019 - Reviews

1. Costa Del Mar Blackfin Sunglasses

Perfect for: Inshore and flats, streams, open water and offshore

Costa Del Mar Blackfin Sunglasses are some of the best sunglasses for fishing on the market today. They’re well-suited for anyone who spends a lot of time on the water.

These sunglasses range greatly from affordable to expensive depending on the specific pair you get. Customers can pick between 6 different lenses. Each lens type is best suited for a specific environment, so consider your personal needs before making a purchase. Made with TR-90 Nylon, Costa’s glasses are resistant to both cold and heat. Durable yet flexible, these nylon shades are molded into Costa’s popular wraparound shape, making them comfortable and well-fitting. The thick polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant, clear, and lightweight. Also made with 580G – Lightwave glass, users will get superior clarity and 99.9% polarization.

The Costa Del Mar Blackfin Sunglasses are mirrored, making them stylish while protecting the eyes from direct sunlight.

Our Verdict

These fishing sunglasses are great for anyone who spends a lot of time out on the water and is looking for a stylish way to protect their eyes.

Pros

  • 580G – Lightwave glass
  • Polycarbonate Lens
  • Mirrored
  • Polarization
  • Can add a prescription

Cons

  • Price
  • Each lens is specialized

2. Wiley X P-17 Sunglasses, Polarized Smoke Green, Gloss Black

Perfect for: Offshore and open water

Wiley’s X P-17 frame sunglasses have been around for several years now. They continue to be among the most popular sunglasses for fishing, and it makes sense. On this pair, the rubber on the nosepiece and by the temples keep the frames steady and in place.

They are also safety certified and can be used as job safety glasses. This remains true even if you choose to get them with a prescription. The frames also come with holes on either side so that wearers can use a T-peg strap for optimal fitting. Each pair also comes with a hard case and cleaning cloth.

They fit people with medium head size, so those with smaller or larger heads may experience some fitting issues. These polarized fishing sunglasses are lightweight and reasonably priced. The lenses block 100% of UV rays and are also shatterproof.

Our Verdict

These fishing sunglasses are great for anyone who spends a lot of time out on the water and is looking for a stylish way to protect their eyes.

Pros

  • Polarized
  • Certified safety glasses
  • Lightweight
  • Accessories included

Cons

  • Size may not fit

3. Oakley Men's FuelCell Sunglasses

Perfect for: Streams

Oakley’s FuelCell sunglasses are essentially larger versions of their popular Gascan line. Those with medium to smaller heads may find this pair too large and loose-fitting. The FuelCell is made with plastic lenses and a plastic frame. The frames are high-quality and designed to be lightweight and stress-resistant, so you can wear them for longer without experiencing discomfort.

The FuelCell uses the 3-point fit system.

This means that the temples go straight back instead of hooking down behind your ear. It does not come with Oakley’s Unobtanium, so they’re better for lifestyle wear rather than for extreme environmental conditions or activities. Oakley’s also can get very expensive.

There are different versions of the FuelCell, so be sure to pick the one that best fits your lifestyle and budget. Also, the lenses are hydrophobic and resistant to smudges and dirt.

Our Verdict

Comfortable and cool, Oakley’s are a favorite among many outdoors enthusiasts but the FuelCell may not be as versatile or affordable as other options.

 

Pros

  • 100% UVA, UVB and UVC protection.
  • Durable
  • 3-point fit system
  • Hydrophobic lenses

Cons

  • Large fit
  • Price
  • No Unobtanium

4. KastKing Skidaway Polarized Sport Sunglasses for Men and Women,Ideal for Driving Fishing Cycling and Running,UV Protection

Perfect for: Inshore and flats, streams, open water and offshore

The KastKing Skidaways are budget-friendly, polarized sunglasses. But don’t let the price fool you. The lenses are available in 5 different colors, each suited for specific environments and weather conditions. They block 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays and exceed all US ANSI standards. They also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and limited, lifetime warranty.

Many customers praise the product’s durability and fit.

These Skidaways provide full coverage thanks to the square lens wrap design. They are also extremely flexible, lightweight, and heat-resistant. Every purchase comes with a microfiber pouch and molded hard case.

It is important to note that these glasses are manufactured with Japanese and German raw materials and may expose people to “harmful chemicals” according to the State of California.

Our Verdict

Comfortable and cool, Oakley’s are a favorite among many outdoors enthusiasts but the FuelCell may not be as versatile or affordable as other options.

Pros

  • Price
  • Polarization
  • Accessories included

Cons

  • Made with foreign materials

5. Filthy Anglers Shawsheen Polarized Polycarbonate Fishing Sunglasses for Men

Perfect for: Saltwater and Freshwater

From the relatively new fishing apparel company, Filthy Angler, comes the Shawsheen pair of sunglasses, which are designed for a variety of fishing scenarios. Made with polycarbonate technology, these lenses are impact-resistant. This is especially helpful for fishing where lures and sinkers can pose serious risks.

The UV protection blocks the sun’s harmful rays and prevents eye damage. By utilizing polarization, anglers can be out in the bright sun without being distracted by harmful and unwanted glare. All of Filthy Angler’s sunglasses are assembled in the USA. They also come at an extremely affordable price.

Customers will receive a free microfiber cleaning pouch with their purchase.

The Shawsheen line is not Rxable and so must be worn over prescription eyewear. Although these glasses are in compliance with FDA standards, those in the State of California should be aware that this product may expose them to lead.

Our Verdict

A sturdy and affordable option for the budget-minded angler, these sunglasses may not last you forever but they should be effective enough to get the job done.

Pros

  • UV protection
  • Price
  • Pouch included
  • Polycarbonate material

Cons

  • Not Rxable

6. Flying Fisherman Buchanan Polarized Sunglasses

Perfect for: Inshore and flats

These sporty sunglasses from Flying Fisherman are hard-coated for superior scratch resistance. They use patented AcuTint UV blocker technology, which provides maximum coverage of up to 400 nanometers. This ensures glare-free vision and clear viewing in lowlight situations.

The wraparound style provides full coverage and a secure fit. The frames also include extended temple pads and rubber nose pads, so you will experience all-day comfort.

The polarized triacetate lenses are impact-resistant for enhanced eye protection. The sunglasses also come with a limited one-year warranty. This is good, but many similar companies will offer lifetime warranties.

These glasses do come at an extremely affordable price. But like other budget-friendly sunglasses, you cannot get them in prescription form.

Our Verdict

A solid pair at a good price, these sunglasses should be able to get the job done but don’t expect much more from them.

Pros

  • Polarization
  • Nose and temple pads
  • Price

Cons

  • Not Rxable
  • Only 1-year warranty

7. Filthy Anglers Ames Polarized Polycarbonate Fishing Sunglasses

Perfect for: Saltwater and Freshwater

The most popular sunglasses from the Filthy Anglers upstart, these wayfarer styled shades can be worn on the streets as well as at sea.

The lenses are made from polycarbonate technology, which means that they are essentially shatter-proof. The frames are made of nylon, which Filthy Anglers says is nearly unbreakable. Despite this, some customers have noted that the nylon frames feel both cheap and flimsy.

All pairs of Ames come with a microfiber cleaning pouch. As with all products from Filthy Anglers, these sunglasses are assembled here in the United States. The Ames line comes in several lens and frame colors. They can be purchased for a reasonable price although similar sunglasses from competitors are currently being sold at lower prices.

The Ames line also offers UV protection.

Our Verdict

Though these sunglasses won’t set you back too badly, there are comparable ones sold for less and of better quality.

Pros

  • Impact-resistant
  • UV protection
  • Nylon frames
  • Microfiber pouch included
  • Mirrored lenses

Cons

  • Customers claim frames feel weak and flimsy

8. Costa Del Mar Fantail Sunglasses

Perfect for: Inshore and flats, streams, open water and offshore

Coming from one of fishing’s top, high-quality brands, the Costa Del Mar Fantail Sunglasses are essentially a smaller version of the Blackfins. The Fantail comes from Costa’s Core selection, which means that they are meant for heavy-duty work. The frame is made from TR-90, a super durable and lightweight nylon. These glasses have plenty of grip on the nose, temple, and to the back for the arm.

They are available as 580 G (glass) or 580 P (plastic/polycarbonate) lenses. The glass lenses are a little heavier but more scratch-resistant. They are also available in prescription. Buyers have a lot of options when it comes to lens color and material as well. Those with larger heads should look to the Blackfin line as the Fantail will probably be too small.

These glasses aren’t cheap, but they certainly are not overpriced when it comes to their high-quality.

Our Verdict

A versatile pair of sunglasses that are sure to last and bring you top performance for years to come.

Pros

  • 580 glass or plastic lenses
  • Mirrored
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Tr-90 nylon
  • Rxable

Cons

  • Price
  • Small to Medium fit
polarized fishing sunglasses

Buying Guide: Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

Polarized Fishing Sunglasses – What’s the big fuss?

Polarized fishing sunglasses, in my opinion, are a must-have for any fisherman of any experience level, it doesn’t matter if you’re in your beginners’ fishing kayak with a budget Shimano reel, or if you’re an expert angler with your own boat, a massive trolling motor, a quality underwater fishing camera, and the best fish finder money can buy… everyone needs some decent sunglasses. Not only do they prevent harmful damage to your eyes they also provide an advantage to fisherman with the ability to see below the water surface. If you are like me, I spend long days on the water, and without my glasses, my eyes would be exposed to harmful UV rays and be subject to ongoing irreversible damage.

A quality polarized lens will offer the following advantages over a non-polarized lens

  • Increased comfort for your eyes and reduced strain
  • Visual clarity enhancements especially when looking through the water surface or areas of contrast
  • Better color representation
  • Reduced glare and reflections

Are Polarized Sunglasses worth it?

Not only is the glare from the top of the water annoying, but it also prevents a fisherman’s depth perception. The glare forms a layer across the top of the water and distorts one’s view into the water and also colors. A strong glare can also cause temporary blindness and be quite dangerous if operating a boat or watercraft. So buying a quality pair of glasses is worth it. Your normal dark-colored lenses are fine for general use, but they do not block the harsh glare that polarized glasses do, and when fishing, any advantage when chasing fish is welcomed.

How to choose a new pair of fishing sunglasses

When choosing a pair of polarized fishing sunglasses there are a few things to consider. The below information should give you a good guide to follow so you can make an informed decision when you next purchase a pair.

UV Rating

The lens darkness or price tag of sunglasses does not guarantee it’s UV protection. Lenses have certain chemicals added to them, or multiple special coatings to assist with UV absorption. So make sure you purchase sunglasses that are labelled as blocking 99 – 100% of harmful UV rays.

Frame design and weight

If you are out fishing for hours on end regularly, the frame design and weight will be an important factor when choosing a pair of glasses. Choosing a pair that is lightweight but still durable would be my recommendation. Titanium frames are both lightweight and strong, but also corrosion-resistant which is important when around water and the elements. Plastic compound sunglasses, however, can be constructed to both be strong and lightweight but also be thicker and provide more coverage of the eyes and face, especially on the sides or arms of the glasses.

Frame construction and durability

As mentioned above, if you are looking to invest some good money in a pair of glasses then be sure the construction is of quality that they will last. A lot of fishing sunglasses are made of durable plastic which makes them both lightweight, but also can withstand a beating when fishing. Metal frames whilst strong, do not provide much coverage of the face.

Lens quality and scratch resistance

One way to check lenses for their quality is to ensure they have a uniform tint. They should not be darker in one area than another. Hold the glasses at arm’s length and looking through them at an object in the distance. Proceed to slowly move the glasses across the object and if the object distorts or becomes blurry then the lens is flawed.

Cost

Polarized sunglasses are generally more expensive due to the fact they contain better quality lenses. Whilst there are still cheaper versions on the market, they will lack certain other qualities in their build ie, weaker frames, poor materials etc. It’s best to consider how often you will use the glasses and in what situations. If you are prone to constantly breaking or losing your glasses, you may want to opt for buying cheaper pairs more regularly. If you are constantly on the water I would recommend investing in a medium to high-quality pair and making a solid effort to look after them and avoid losing or damaging them. It’s likely a more expensive pair of glasses will come with a better level of warranty as well, so that is a bonus and something to keep in mind. Higher-quality glasses will be made of better quality materials and again, less chance of breaking.

About The Author

Peter Wilkins

Peter WilkinsWhen I’m not out fishing trying to land my next pb, you can find me writing about fishing, or reviewing the latest in fishing gear. Hopefully, our articles will help you make an informed decision on your next fishing tackle purchase, and ideally catch more fish!

More info…