Outdoor sports enthusiasts know the significance of having the right gear, and when it comes to water-based activities like fly fishing, a reliable pair of sunglasses becomes an essential tool. Fly fishing demands acute visual clarity to spot elusive fish in various aquatic conditions.
Polarized sunglasses emerge as the prime choice for anglers, offering unparalleled clarity by reducing glare and improving underwater visibility. Moreover, they serve the dual purpose of safeguarding your eyes from harmful UV radiation. Amidst the plethora of options available, choosing the ideal pair can be perplexing.
To alleviate this predicament, we’ve consulted seasoned outdoor enthusiasts, including anglers, cyclists, skiing experts, and campers, to curate a comprehensive guide to the best fly fishing sunglasses.
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The Importance of Polarized Sunglasses
Polarized sunglasses are undoubtedly the best choice for fly fishing. They are designed to reduce glare by blocking horizontally oriented light waves, which are responsible for creating reflections on the water’s surface. This glare can be not only uncomfortable for your eyes but also impede your ability to see beneath the water’s surface. Polarized sunglasses filter out these reflections, providing you with better clarity and enabling you to spot fish more easily.
Moreover, the best-polarized sunglasses for fly fishing are also equipped to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Extended exposure to UV rays can lead to various eye issues, making UV protection a crucial feature when selecting your fishing sunglasses.
Choosing the Perfect Pair
Selecting the right pair of fly fishing sunglasses involves considering several factors. The sizing should fit most head sizes comfortably, and the frame should be lightweight and impact-resistant. A well-fitting pair of sunglasses ensures they stay on your nose bridge even during the most active fishing sessions.
Lens Quality: The lens quality plays a pivotal role in determining the effectiveness of your sunglasses. Different lens colors offer varying advantages. For instance, amber or copper lenses are ideal for shallow-water fishing, enhancing contrast and visibility in low-light conditions. High-quality lenses, coupled with technologies like Chromapop or PolarizedPlus2, enhance colors, contrast, and overall visual experience.
Frame Design: The frame design should be ergonomic, providing good coverage and protection from both the sun’s rays and any unexpected impacts. Look for features such as adjustable nose pads and temples, ensuring a secure fit that won’t slip off during active fishing.
Durability: Fishing is an active sport, and your gear should withstand the rigors of the environment. A durable frame that can withstand exposure to saltwater, bright sunlight, and accidental falls is essential. The last thing you want is your sunglasses breaking mid-fishing trip.
Prescription Options: If you require prescription eyewear, many brands offer prescription options in their fishing sunglasses. This way, you can enjoy enhanced visibility without compromising on your visual clarity.
1. Smith Guide’s Choice Sunglasses/ Low Light Ignitor: Overall Best Polarized Sunglasses
For those seeking sunglasses optimized for low light conditions and inshore fishing, the Smith Guide’s Choice is a go-to option. Endorsed by both us and seasoned veterans, these sunglasses excel in freshwater conditions. The proprietary Chromapop technology used in the lenses enhances color and contrast by filtering specific wavelengths of light. This translates to a natural and vibrant viewing experience.
The availability of various lens color options caters to different needs. Amber or copper lenses, for example, are perfect for shallow water fishing, as they enhance contrast and visibility in low-light conditions. What’s more, the durability of these sunglasses is impressive. Even in the face of sudden gusts of wind, misplaced casts, or falls, the Guide’s Choice sunglasses stand strong against fading or discoloration.
The Smith Guide’s Choice sunglasses accommodate larger head sizes and broader facial structures. The adjustable nose pads and temples ensure a secure fit during active fishing, and the wrap-around design offers ample coverage and sun protection.
2. Costa Del Mar Blackfin: Best Trout Fishing Sunglasses
When it comes to trout fishing, exceptional clarity is a must, especially for spotting fast-moving striped marlin. The Costa Del Mar Blackfin sunglasses are delivered on this front, boasting lenses made of high-quality glass or polycarbonate. These lenses offer both excellent clarity and UV protection. The glasses come in various tints to match different light conditions and are polarized to reduce glare from the water’s surface.
The Blackfin’s wrap-around frame design ensures a comfortable and secure fit, complemented by non-slip nose pads. The sunglasses even include a detachable retention strap to keep them in place during vigorous activities. Whether you’re fishing in saltwater or casting in turbulent streams, the Blackfin remains resilient and impact-resistant.
3. Huk Polarized Sunglasses: Best Fishing Sunglasses Under $100
For anglers who don’t want to break the bank on sunglasses, the Huk Polarized Sunglasses are a top pick. Priced at $60, these sunglasses offer all the essential features found in higher-end options. Polarized lenses are essential for spotting fish, and Huk’s lenses excel in this aspect. Notably, they remain effective both in freshwater and saltwater environments.
Huk sunglasses are lightweight and comfortable, featuring rubber nose pads and temple tips for a secure fit. However, some users noted that certain lens colors may not be ideal for specific conditions, and there were occasional complaints of tint peeling after prolonged use.
4. Costa Del Mar Saltbreak Sunglasses: Best Glasses For Fly Fishing
If you’re pursuing big game fishing, having the right sunglasses is paramount. The Costa Del Mar Saltbreak sunglasses cater to this need with their outstanding optics. Designed for a comfortable fit and active use, the Saltbreak sunglasses feature a wrap-around design that blocks out unwanted light and wind. The lenses, powered by Costa’s 580 lens technology, offer superior clarity and contrast.
The Costa Saltbreak sunglasses are available with glass or polycarbonate lenses in various colors, each tailored to specific lighting conditions. While the glasses are impressive, they may feel relatively heavy due to their durable frame. This might result in discomfort during extended wear.
5. Oakley Men’s Oo9416 Split Shot Sunglasses: Best Fishing Glasses For The Money
Enthusiastic anglers who prioritize both performance and eye protection will find Oakley’s Split Shot sunglasses a worthy investment. These sunglasses elevate sight fishing experiences and come with a built-in retainer system, ensuring you won’t lose them in the water. Oakley employs Prizm lens technology to enhance vision for anglers, enabling them to discern underwater details.
The polarized lenses are made of Oakley’s Plutonite material, offering impressive impact resistance and debris protection. With the choice between Prizm deep water Polarized and Prizm Shallow water polarized variants, these sunglasses cater to various fishing conditions. Additionally, the Split Shot’s modified frame fits faces with higher cheekbones and a flatter nose bridge for a comfortable and secure fit.
6. Costa Del Mar Rincon Sunglasses: Best Costa Glasses For Fishing
Investing in quality sunglasses for fishing is a unanimous recommendation among experts. The Costa Del Mar Rincon sunglasses embody this principle, delivering excellent optics tailored for fishing and water activities. With their 580 lens technology, these sunglasses provide exceptional clarity, color contrast, and glare reduction in bright sunlight.
The Rincon features a comfortable and secure fit, with a wrap-around design to shield against unwanted light and wind. While the sunglasses excel in performance, some users may find their price to be relatively high.
7. KastKing Toccoa Polarized Sports Sunglasses: Best Budget Fishing Sunglasses
High-priced sunglasses can be a source of stress when fishing, but the KastKing Toccoa Polarized Sports Sunglasses offer an affordable solution. Priced under $100, these sunglasses deliver crucial features without draining your wallet. They are a perfect choice for newcomers to fishing who want to explore different tints and lighting conditions before committing to pricier options.
The lightweight design of KastKing Toccoa sunglasses ensures comfort during extended wear. While they might not offer the same level of clarity as higher-end models, they still provide glare reduction and improved visibility in bright conditions.
8. Smith Basecamp Sunglasses: Best All-Rounder Sunglasses
Finding the balance between style and practicality is essential, and the Smith Basecamp sunglasses strike that balance perfectly. With their sleek design and premium features, these sunglasses offer exceptional performance across various outdoor activities, including fishing. The Chromapop lenses enhance clarity and contrast, providing a vivid and crisp visual experience.
The Smith Basecamp sunglasses boast a durable yet lightweight frame, ensuring comfort during all-day wear. The non-slip megol nose pads and temples contribute to a secure fit, even in wet conditions. Whether you’re casting your line or hiking the trails, these sunglasses are designed to excel.
As an avid fly fisher, having the right pair of sunglasses can significantly improve your fishing experience. Polarized sunglasses, with their glare-reducing properties, are essential for spotting fish and navigating waters effectively. With the plethora of options available, it’s important to consider factors like lens technology, frame design, fit, and budget.
Whether you’re looking for the best overall polarized sunglasses like the Smith Guide’s Choice, specialized sunglasses for trout fishing like the Costa Del Mar Blackfin, budget-friendly options like the Huk Polarized Sunglasses, or versatile sunglasses like the Oakley Men’s Oo9416 Split Shot, there’s a perfect pair out there for you. Don’t overlook the significance of proper eyewear – gear up with the best fly fishing sunglasses in 2023 and make the most of your angling adventures.