Best 10 Fishing Sunglasses [2021 Reviews]
When it comes to being a successful angler, it’s important to give yourself as much of an advantage as possible on the water. This means that it’s crucial for an angler to have the right kind of equipment for every instance they encounter while fishing. It’s understandable for some anglers to try and get by with a few items that are more affordable and budget-friendly, but there are simply some items that you shouldn’t cut corners with.
If you were to ask any number of anglers what are some of the most important gear items outside their rod, reel and tackle, most of them would likely point to a good quality pair of fishing sunglasses. That’s because having a good pair of sunglasses not only protects your eyes from any potential damage that might occur from spending many hours on end in the bright sunlight, but the right kind of sunglasses will allow you to see deeper into the water with much more clarity.
In this article, we will cover the most important bits of information that every angler needs to know as it relates to the best fishing sunglasses. We will first take a close look at the exact type of characteristics and quality indicators that you should look for before finally rounding out our article with the best 10 fishing sunglasses that are currently available in today’s market.
If you’re looking to purchase a solid pair of fishing sunglasses and are not quite sure where to start, we’ve already done most of the research for you. Read on to find out what our top 10 picks are for this year.
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick Summary – Best Fishing Sunglasses
- 2 Fishing Sunglasses Buyer’s Guide
- 3 Best 10 Fishing Sunglasses
- 3.1 1. Costa Del Mar Blackfin Polarized Sunglasses
- 3.2 2. Costa Del Mar Fantail Polarized Sunglasses
- 3.3 3. Maui Jim Peahi
- 3.4 4. Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley Polarized Sunglasses
- 3.5 5. Oakley GasCan Sunglasses
- 3.6 6. Maui Jim Big Wave Polarized Sunglasses
- 3.7 7. Wiley X Slay
- 3.8 8. Oakley Valve Polarized Sunglasses
- 3.9 9. Strike King Okeechobee Sunglasses
- 3.10 10. KastKing Hiwassee Polarized Sunglasses
Quick Summary – Best Fishing Sunglasses
- Best Overall: Costa Del Mar Blackfin
- Best Value for Money: Strike King Okeechobee
- Best Premium: Maui Jim Peahi
Fishing Sunglasses Buyer’s Guide
If you’re in the market for a good pair of fishing sunglasses and you’ve never really paid much attention to the different aspects and characteristics that are offered by different brands and sunglasses models, we’ve outlined some of the areas that you should certainly be aware of in your search.
Beginner and novice anglers who are largely unfamiliar with the importance of fishing sunglasses and just what to look for in their first pair should read our buyer’s guide portion first before continuing on. If you’re a seasoned angler who has spent many years on the water and you’re already well-educated as it relates to polarized fishing sunglasses, you can probably go ahead and skip down to our list of the best 10 fishing sunglasses below.
Why are Fishing Sunglasses Important?
If you’ve ever wondered why professional anglers or avid fishing enthusiasts all have the same familiar “racoon eyes” tan line, you might be surprised to learn that these anglers wear fishing sunglasses to give them a serious edge on the water. It’s obvious that anglers should wear a good pair of sunglasses while on the water because failure to do so will undoubtedly lead to serious damage to your eyes over the course of many years.
The amount of damage that can be done by sunlight is multiplied exponentially for those of us who spend many hours on the water because of how the sun’s rays react on the water’s surface. Scientists have proven that the water surface acts in a way that reflects the sun’s UV rays off the water and back towards our eyes in a way that hits them from multiple directions.
Anglers not only have to worry about dangerous UV rays from sunlight piercing through from the sun above, but also from the water below as the light is constantly refracted off the moving waves in a way that hits your eyes from all kinds of angles. This seemingly insignificant detail was something that sailors and fishermen from many years ago simply had to deal with as there were very few or no types of sunglasses available for them to wear.
Many old salty sailors would avoid looking out over the water’s surface as they were well-aware of the damaging effects that it could have on their eyes over the course of many years.
What are Polarized Sunglasses?
In addition to the fact that fishing sunglasses are able to protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays, wearing a good pair of polarized sunglasses is the key to giving yourself a serious advantage on the water compared to anglers who might opt for a more affordable type of sunglasses that are more suited for wearing during other activities on dry land.
There are two main types of sunglasses being manufactured today: polarized sunglasses and non-polarized sunglasses. The basic difference between the two is that polarized sunglasses are capable of blocking out the sun’s UV rays that are coming in from a horizontal angle, which means your eyes will not be bombarded by the same amount of dangerous sunlight that would normally be damaging to your vision.
This ability to eliminate much of the sun’s rays from hitting your eyes will act in a way that also drastically reduces the amount of glare that is coming off the water’s surface, which will allow you to see much deeper into the water with greater clarity compared to what you might see with regular sunglasses on.
Having this ability to see into the water at a much more acute level is the main reason why so many expert and professional anglers prefer to wear polarized sunglasses while they are fishing. This increased visibility into the water is evident whether the water is clear or even if it’s a bit murky.
Which Color Lens Should I Choose?
One of the most pressing questions that even expert anglers sometimes don’t have a good answer for is what color lens should they choose when it comes to polarized fishing sunglasses. Most anglers are unaware that wearing different colored lenses will present them with certain advantages in specific lighting situations at various times of the day.
Being aware of just which lens to wear at the right time will give you a major advantage on the water. Here is a basic overview of the advantages of each type of polarized fishing sunglasses lens and when you should consider wearing them in order to provide yourself with the greatest advantage.
Optical lens manufacturers have created some interesting innovations in recent years that help illuminate what we are looking at through certain types of lenses based on the coloration of the lens itself. Yellow-colored lenses are typically considered the best choice when it comes to low-light situations that you’ll commonly encounter at dawn or dusk.
If you’ve ever noticed rifle scopes or even binoculars that have a yellowish hue to them, the reason behind this strange color is that it allows users to have a much clearer and brighter sight picture when looking through the lens at times when there is only a small amount of light available.
It’s a good idea to keep a pair of yellow polarized fishing sunglasses in your tackle box or somewhere else with your fishing gear as you’ll be best served wearing these in the early morning or late evening hours. The yellow color will provide you with much greater clarity and sharpness, as well as depth perception into the water and all around your position.
You should also be aware that yellow colored lenses are not ideal for being worn during the middle of the day when it’s exceptionally bright outside as they won’t afford you much protection from the sun’s rays and also won’t block out as much glare from the water surface.
Red or Copper Colored Lenses
Most novice anglers who select a pair of reddish or copper lenses are sometimes unaware of the reasoning behind the different hue of their lens. In many cases, some users will reach for a pair of copper lenses simply because they like the looks of them.
If you do a bit of research, you’ll quickly find that these lenses also have a specific time and place when they will work better than any other color lens when it comes to polarized fishing sunglasses.
Copper lenses are mostly considered to be an ideal “all-purpose” lens that anglers can wear at any time of the day, rain or shine, that will give them an edge on the water. These types of lenses will give you much of the same type of advantages in the early morning or late evening, as well as during the middle of the day when the sun is especially bright overhead.
Grey or Black Lenses
As you’ve probably already guessed, the best color lenses to be worn during times when the sun is exceptionally bright are grey or even black colored lenses. If you’re fishing in areas where you’re surrounded by water and the sun is especially bright, you’ll be best served by a pair of dark lenses—the darker, the better.
These dark colored polarized lenses will also help you see into the water during the early morning or late evening hours to a certain extent, but you’ll actually be better off not wearing them as you might actually diminish your view too much to justify wearing these kinds of lenses in low-light situations.
Most anglers think that mirrored lenses are more of a fashion statement than anything else. Lots of users are often surprised to learn that mirrored lenses provide the ultimate amount of protection from the sun’s dangerous UV rays because they actually will reflect these rays back away from your eyes instead of letting them through the lenses.
You actually won’t have much of an advantage when it comes to wearing mirrored lenses as it relates to being able to see far into the water. If you’re hoping to have the type of X-ray vision that most anglers look for in a good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses, opt for some copper colored lenses instead.
Characteristics of Quality Fishing Sunglasses
There are certain characteristics that you should look for when it comes to finding a good quality pair of polarized fishing sunglasses that will be ideal on the water. Some of these elements are more important than others, but it’s important to be aware of what your sunglasses are made of and just what you can expect out of them.
Most fishing sunglasses frames are made of plastic, but you should be aware that not all plastic material is created equal. Some types of plastic will be much more durable than others, and the price of the particular sunglasses you’re looking at are usually a good indicator as to whether or not they’re made from high-quality plastic that will last many years, or if they simply have cheap plastic that will likely break, fade over time, or even melt in extreme heat.
Some of the most durable plastic frames are typically made of acetate material, which is surprisingly strong and flexible compared to other variations. Anglers might also find some types of fishing sunglasses made from metal materials like aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and others.
Obviously, these metal frames might be a bit heavier than any type of plastic and you can rest assured that they’ll sink like a rock if you happen to drop them into the water. Most experienced anglers will seek out a good pair of plastic-framed polarized fishing sunglasses to wear as they will be durable enough to withstand just about anything you might encounter and won’t retain too much heat while you’re out in the hot sun all day.
Another highly important point that you’ll want to pay close attention to is the type of material that the fishing sunglasses lenses are made of. When it comes to fishing sunglasses, there are basically two main types of lens material that are most common in today’s market.
Glass lenses are commonly associated with the much more expensive types of fishing sunglasses as they will offer a much greater level of clarity and image quality when compared to any other material.
As you might have already guessed, glass lenses do have the tendency to break, but most reputable companies have developed lenses that are much more durable than those from years past. Glass lenses are also much more scratch-resistant than other materials and won’t necessarily warp or bend when exposed to significantly hot temperatures for extended amounts of time.
Some anglers prefer other lens material since glass lenses are a bit heavier and will put more pressure on the bridge of your nose, as well as your ears, which can often be quite uncomfortable for anyone who wears their fishing sunglasses for many hours at a time.
Polycarbonate Lenses are the most prevalent type of lens material commonly used in fishing sunglasses. This is true for a number of reasons that simply make them a much better option when it comes to anglers who are going to wear their sunglasses for days at a time and require that their lenses be made of material that will hold up without being too heavy and cumbersome.
Most anglers are also well-aware that polycarbonate lenses are also much more lightweight than glass material and they’re also less likely to shatter if you do happen to drop them or impac them in any way.
The main advantage that polycarbonate lenses have over glass lens material is that they are much more capable of blocking horizontal UV rays from entering through the lenses. This will usually give you greater ability to cut through the pesky glare that is on the water’s surface and allow you to see farther into the water with much more clarity.
Best 10 Fishing Sunglasses
1. Costa Del Mar Blackfin Polarized Sunglasses
It’s no secret in the fishing industry that most anglers consider Costa Del Mar to be the premier brand when it comes to polarized fishing sunglasses. The Costa Del Mar Blackfin Polarized Sunglasses are one of the most popular sets of frames made by the brand and there are plenty of reasons why anglers prefer them over others.
These sunglasses can be ordered in a variety of different lens colors that include everything from copper, gray, sunrise, green mirror, blue mirror, and silver mirror. You’ll also be able to select the exact type of frame color that’s just right for your style or preference since there are a total of 14 different frame colors to choose from.
These frames have been among the most popular of any fishing sunglasses in recent years and they are some that you’ve likely seen professional anglers wear if you watch sports like competitive bass fishing or saltwater angling. Costa Del Mar offers these frames with either glass or polycarbonate lenses that are available in either the 400 or 580 series lens size.
It’s understandable if these sunglasses are outside of the price range of most beginner or novice anglers since they are quite a bit more expensive than most other brands of fishing sunglasses. However, if you’re looking for a solid pair of shades that could potentially last well over a decade if cared for properly, then the Costa Del Mar Blackfin Polarized Sunglasses are a great choice.
2. Costa Del Mar Fantail Polarized Sunglasses
While we could mention another brand in our top few spots for our list of the best fishing sunglasses, we would be more accurate to present the brands and models that we truly consider to be the best options. If you’re vaguely familiar with the many different brands of polarized fishing sunglasses, then you might not be surprised to learn that the first few options on our list are from the Costa Del Mar company.
The Costa Del Mar Fantail Polarized Sunglasses is another great pair of fishing sunglasses that any angler would find to be more than capable of delivering enough polarization to cut through the water’s glare, as well as a highly comfortable fit that you’ll be able to wear for long days on the water.
These sunglasses are among the most popular of the Costa Del Mar brand as they offer users with the option to choose between 30 different frame colors and a number of glass or polycarbonate plastic lenses. Most anglers who have any experience choosing between Costa Del Mar’s lenses will likely attest to the fact that the brand’s Cost 580 Series blue mirror style is vastly superior to any other option as it allows for exceptional clarity when looking into clear ocean water. One of the most popular choices among those who are loyal to the Costa brand is the Fantail Polarized Sunglasses frames with the Costa 580 frames in blue mirror color.
3. Maui Jim Peahi
The Maui Jim Peahi are easily among the top options when it comes to polarized fishing sunglasses in today’s market. They offer a slightly different, rectangular-style frame that is often considered more stylish depending on an angler’s personal preference.
These sunglasses are made of a highly lightweight and durable frame that’s made with nylon material for superior flexibility compared to other types of shades that are available. One of the only downsides is that these sunglasses are only available in glass lenses, which might be a dealbreaker for some anglers.
The Maui Jim Peahi’s overall design actually distributes the weight of the heavier glass lenses quite well across the bridge of the nose, as well as the ears. Most anglers who have worn these frames comment on the fact that they feature some of the best “all-purpose” polarization options that allows you to see very clearly into the water at virtually any time of day, including at high noon when the sun can be especially bright.
4. Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley Polarized Sunglasses
Another great option that are very similar to the rectangular-style frame that the Maui Jim Peahi’s offer are the Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley Polarized Sunglasses. These are roughly the same price as our first three options and any angler would likely be thoroughly impressed with their overall comfort level, as well as the ability of the Tuna Alley sunglasses to provide incredible clarity for seeing deep into the water.
The Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley Polarized Sunglasses are another pair of fishing sunglasses that are among the most popular of any model made by the brand as users are able to select from about 20 different frame color options, as well as 14 different lens shade options that will let anyone get just the right kind of combination for their own personal needs.
These frames are among the toughest that Costa Del Mar has to offer as they include corrosion resistant hinges made from stainless steel, as well as the common three-hole venting lens system that allows air to flow in and eliminate the potential for the lenses to become fogged in particularly humid environments.
5. Oakley GasCan Sunglasses
Oakley has been at or very near the top of the industry when it comes to producing some of the best and most popular fishing sunglasses, as well as shades that are perfect for any other occasion. The brand produced their GasCan sunglasses particularly with anglers in mind as these frames and lenses are perfect for those who are looking for a highly durable, yet perfectly clear pair of lenses that can be worn for many hours on end during fishing trips.
These fishing sunglasses are available for a price that some might view as being expensive, but most anglers should see the value in spending such an amount to get a great pair of shades that will last many years if taken care of properly.
The Oakley GasCan frames are quite thick, but not as bulky as you might expect. They are also said to be one of the most comfortable styles of sunglasses made by the popular brand and you’ll be able to enjoy outstanding clarity thanks to the Plutonite polarized lens material.
6. Maui Jim Big Wave Polarized Sunglasses
We could put these shades up a bit closer toward the top of our list of the best fishing sunglasses, but the Maui Jim Big Wave Polarized Sunglasses are quite a bit more expensive than most other options we will mention. That doesn’t mean that any angler should automatically look elsewhere, though. Rather, these are among one of the best and most comfortable frames that you’ll find in today’s market.
As the name indicates, the Maui Jim Big Wave Polarized Sunglasses have a look that’s very much in line with what you might expect to find in a model that’s designed for offshore fishing. The frames are only available in matte black, olive tortoise, or translucent matte grey coloration, but each of these options are highly popular choices that most users are more than happy with.
As is expected with the Maui Jim brand, these sunglasses offer an exceptionally well-made lens that is ideal for wearing on all-day fishing trips. The Big Wave shades feature the brand’s highly-popular super-thin glass that is much lighter and thinner than other glass lenses made by the company. These shades are made with the PolarizedPlus2 material, which is outstanding when considering the amount of UV protection and other advantages it offers.
7. Wiley X Slay
If you’re looking for a style of fishing sunglasses that are a bit more affordable, yet still offer much of the same quality and feel that you’ll find with a premium brand, then the Wiley X Slay is likely to be the ideal choice. These sunglasses are a worthy addition to any list of the best fishing sunglasses as they are extremely well-made and are one of the toughest frames that you’ll find on today’s market.
If you’re at all concerned about having a lure or weight hit your face, you’ll want to have a pair of sunglasses that can withstand the impact of a heavy tungsten weight or any other type of material which could do serious damage, even to the point of blinding someone permanently.
The Wiley X Slay’s frames have a wraparound design that make them capable of fitting firmly to your head and face, which means they are not likely to move around or risk being blown off while you’re riding at high speeds in any type of boat or other watercraft. If you’re looking for a great option that is a worthy alternative to the premium brands that are on the market today, the Wiley X Slay is likely the best choice for you.
8. Oakley Valve Polarized Sunglasses
Another solid pair of fishing sunglasses that any angler would likely be happy to own is the Oakley Valve Polarized Sunglasses. These are priced at a rate which most intermediate or relatively experienced anglers could afford and there are plenty of reasons to invest in a great pair of shades such as these.
Oakley is well-known for having some of the best lens material in the industry and the Valve shades are no exception. Users have the ability to choose between several different frame colors, as well as various lens colorations for those who might want a slightly more affordable pair of sunglasses that they can keep in their boat and use for early-morning fishing before swapping them out for a darker pair later in the day.
These lenses are outstanding when it comes to blocking out UV rays and are one of the most ideal versions for the classic yellow color that is considered to be perfect for low-light conditions.
9. Strike King Okeechobee Sunglasses
If you’re looking for a much less expensive option, Strike King has a line of fishing sunglasses that many anglers consider to be excellent starter options for anglers who aren’t quite ready to invest a sizable amount. These frames come in a variety of different color options and have much of the same feel of a high-quality set of sunglasses without the usual hefty price tag.
The lens quality on the Okeechobee Sunglasses is not the same crystal clear imagery you’ll find in the premium brand shades, but these sunglasses will certainly block out most of the UV rays that might prove to be damaging to your eyes after long days on the water.
The frames are made of hardened plastic that holds up quite well to most slight impacts or if they happen to be dropped. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about losing out on a few hundred dollars if you do happen to lose or break these sunglasses.
10. KastKing Hiwassee Polarized Sunglasses
KastKing is somewhat well known in the fishing industry for producing various gear and tackle items that are highly capable of delivering just what anglers need, but without the big price tag that most items have. The KastKing Hiwassee Polarized Sunglasses are widely considered to be the best budget-option fishing sunglasses on the market today.
Users will be able to choose between a number of various frames and lens color options, which makes this ideal for any angler that might be looking for a bargain that still allows them to customize their look. The Hiwassee frames are made with reinforced nylon material known as Grilamid, which is surprisingly strong.
For anyone looking to get a decent pair of fishing sunglasses for a fraction of the cost it would require for any premium brands, the KastKing Hiwassee is an outstanding option.
Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API