The 9 Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses 2021 (Buying Guide & Reviews)


Have you ever wondered what is going on under the water? If only there was some way that you could see through the ripples.

Well, here’s the thing. You can!

How? Well, stick a pair of the best polarized sunglasses for fishing on, and you’ll have a birds-eye view of the situation.

In this article, I’ve assembled a list of some of my favorites. I’ll also delve into how they work and how they can help you to catch more fish.

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Polarized Fishing Glasses – More than Meets the Eye

Polarized sunglasses, what’s the deal?

Well, aside from making you look like the coolest dude on the river, they actually serve a useful purpose.

If you check out my guide to fly fishing essentials, you’ll see that polarized fishing glasses come pretty high on the list.

Let’s have a quick run through about why you should really consider getting a pair:

fisherman wearing fishing vest and fly fishing in river

How do Polarized Fishing Glasses Work?

So streaming right into your eyes, right now, are two types of light rays.

Freaky huh?

You have horizontal waves and vertical waves. Polarized glasses have lenses that basically block out the horizontal waves.

Why is that a good thing?

Well, there is another name for horizontal light waves. You’ll have heard of it. It is called glare. Glare is the enemy of fishermen. It causes you to squint every time you look at the water, and even on dull days can lead to you getting a nasty headache.

If you have a pair of polarized glasses, check this out.

If you look at any LCD Screen, the image should vanish if you’ve got polarized glasses. Turn your head to the side (or rotate the glasses), and the image will reappear! Magic.

But what is the advantage of this to us as fishermen?

Read on…

Glare

Man, I hate glare when fishing.

If I am going hard at it on a proper full-day session, I feel the effects after just a few hours. The constant squinting can take its toll in a short space of time. It’s similar to snow blindness. I get a headache that spreads across my forehead.

The best way to stop this feeling is to reduce glare. Even with lightly tinted fishing sunglasses, I find that the effect of reducing the glare makes my eyes much more comfortable.

UV Rays

Ultraviolet rays are seriously bad for your eyes.

Do you get out fishing a lot? If so, it is something that you really need to consider. Ever seen one of those old boys with milky eyes?

Yeah, they are cataracts.

One of the leading causes of eye damage is exposing your eyes to too many UV rays. Glasses that block UVA and UVB rays go a long way to preventing cataracts and retina damage. Considering that you only get one set of eyes, it is a small price to pay.

fisherman with folding knife in mouth and holding rod preparing for a fly fishing

See Below the Water with Polarized Glasses!

Now here is the bit that I really like.

Part of the fun of fly fishing is that it is ultra visual. You’ll be amazed at what goes on beneath the surface. That plain old rock in the middle of the pool, the one that you can just make out?

Put your best polarized fishing sunglasses on.

Yep, it’s got fish behind it.

Polarized fishing sunglasses literally let your sight penetrate deeper into the water. By being able to see more fish, you aren’t firing blind (literally).

If you can see more fish, you can cast at more fish.

If you can cast at more fish, you’ll catch more fish. Simples!

Polarized Fishing Glasses – Not Just For Sunny Days

If there is a bit of cloud cover, you might think you don’t need sunglasses.

Think again.

I find the worst days for glare are those where the sky is white and overcast. The truth is that once you get used to wearing sunglasses for fishing, you’ll find that you won’t want to be without them, even on cloudy days.

Protection

Ever hit yourself in the face with a fly while casting?

Let me tell you.

I have. That wasn’t a fun day. An inch higher, and I’d be called ‘one-eye Bob’.

Your vision is so important, and a sharpened hook traveling at 80mph isn’t a laughing matter when it comes to eyes. It only has to happen once, and you’ve got a life-changing event right there.

Sunglasses also act as an element of protection. How much is your continued good eyesight worth? Check my list and see the prices… It’s got to be worth at least that much.

So now you know why you need them, let us look at some great options…

Top 9 Best Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing 2021

Fishoholic Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

There’s plenty to love about this offering from Fishoholic. Straight off the bat, they look cool and supremely stylish. The camo patterned frame isn’t too loud and will fit perfectly with natural outdoor pursuits.

Here’s what I really love.

They are some of the most comfortable fishing glasses around. The arms and nose sections are both padded with extra rubber. As these are the main contact points for your face, and you’ll be wearing them all day, this means they are very comfortable.

The frame isn’t just good-looking. It is durable too! Made from FlexTuff composite, they should stand up to some serious abuse in a fishing bag.

Pros

  • I love the wide arms. They block light from the sides.
  • Great looking and 100% UV protection.

Cons

  • They aren’t the most compact when they are closed (luckily, they come with a case).

Takeaway

I’m starting strong. For a pair of fishing glasses that offer great value and tough frames, these could make a fantastic choice.

KastKing Iditarod Polarized Sport Sunglasses

If you want to look cool and get all of the benefits you’d expect to find in the best polarized sunglasses for fishing, check these.

These sunglasses are available in a wide range of colors and lens options. I really like the purple mirrors.

And do you know what’s great?

The lenses are actually of premium quality. This leads to a reduction in distortion, which can cause headaches and eye fatigue over long periods of use.

The mirror finish is highly water-resistant, so no streaks, smudges, or scratches either!

The side arms of these sunglasses are wide and spacious, blocking glare from the sides too! So you’ll be able to focus on what matters. What’s that?

Your fishing!

Pros

  • Great value.
  • Premium quality lenses.

Cons

  • Due to the wide arms, it is hard to fit a lanyard if you want to use one.

Takeaway

I love it when I get premium fishing glasses at a low price. These offer outstanding protection, and I can spot a trout grazing at 100 yards.

Flying Fisherman Buchanan Polarized Sunglasses

Let’s say you want something that you can wear down on the water and still look cool on the drive home? Look no further.

For the money, these perform far better than I’d expect.

Here are the things I like.

A triacetate cellulose lens is strong enough to withstand the rigors of your day. They even include a scratch-resistant coating, so they’ll stay looking newer longer.

I think the crystal gunmetal frames and smoke lenses look sublime. If that is a little too futuristic for you, then there are 4 other color options available… Matte camo is an excellent choice.

The lenses also offer 100% UV protection. Speaking of the lenses, they offer crystal clear vision and do a great job helping you see all of those underwater features.

Pros

  • Great looking frames in a range of colors.
  • I love that these are anti-scratch. Essential in fishing sunglasses.

Cons

  • Ok, so they do feel a little cheap.

Takeaway

Decent quality sunglasses don’t have to cost the earth. And these are proof! The low price is a good thing.

There’s no worse feeling than sitting on a $200 pair of sunglasses. These do the job well. Spend the money you save on flies!

Ugly Stik Spartan Sunglasses

When wearing sunglasses, you must get a decent level of comfort.

These are some of the most comfortable fishing sunglasses out there. The soft rubber nose grip and spacious arms make them a joy to wear.

And there’s more.

Hinges are a key point of failure on most glasses. The Ugly Stik Spartan sunglasses have a really durable injected hinge, meaning they will last a long time.

I think the camo finish, along with the orange logo, strikes a nice balance too.

With regards to the performance, they are right up there with some of the best. The view below the water was crystal clear, and they give a nice sharp contrast.

Pros

  • Super durable.
  • Great looking.

Cons

  • The slightly unusual arm shape meant some light comes in from the bottom half.

Takeaway

I can’t offer much in the way of faults. These glasses protect your eyes and are really comfortable.

SpiderWire Terror Eyes Sunglasses

Sleek and streamlined. These sunglasses are about as lightweight as you’ll find. With low-profile arms and semi-rimless frames, you’ll have an unimpeded view of your fly and the fish around it (hopefully).

The Spiderwire fishing glasses look a little like something that special forces would wear. The yellow-tinted lenses are a good option for low light conditions as they don’t make everything too dark.

I was slightly bothered by the light at the sides, but considering these glasses’ price and feel, I would consider it minor.

The plastic frame is really durable too. Provided that you are careful with them, they should last a decent amount of time.

Not bad, for the money.

Pros

  • Low profile.
  • Very lightweight.

Cons

  • They don’t block light from the sides.

Takeaway

While these are budget glasses, they perform far over their price point. For a no-nonsense, cool-looking pair, these could be some of the best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing.

Orvis Firehole Polarized Sunglasses

Orvis Firehole Polarized Sunglasses

I love Orvis. As fishing brands go, they always come up with the goods. These aren’t budget, but that’s because they are some of the best polarized sunglasses for fly fishing available today.

Let’s start with the polycarbonate lens.

This brown base lens is great for all light conditions. It is backed with an anti-reflective coating, meaning light from behind you won’t interrupt your view. They reflect UVA rays completely, keeping your eyes and sight healthy.

When it comes to looks, these really stand out. The brown tortoiseshell works wonderfully with the blue mirrored lenses.

And to sweeten the deal.

You’ll even get a case and microfibre cleaning cloth to keep them in tip-top condition.

Pros

  • Great visibility in all conditions.
  • Premium brand, premium quality.

Cons

  • Just the cost… Don’t cry to me if you drop them in the river.

Takeaway

If you want a quality pair that you’ll have to look after, Orvis has the ideal solution. These are stylish, durable, and about as good as it gets.

Costa Del Mar Reefton Sunglasses

Costa Del Mar is a well-known brand that comes all the way from New Zealand. A land synonymous with fly fishing and outdoor pursuits.

The lenses are some of the highest quality in the game. Of course, you can expect to find UV protection and polarization as standard.

The resin frame is hardy, durable, and slightly oversized, blocking light and making the glasses super sturdy.

And get this.

The fit of the glasses is perfect. The co-molded temples and hyrdrolite nose pieces make them a joy to wear. There are temple pads too, so you will be super comfortable.

Pros

  • Fabulous fit, super comfortable.
  • Wrap around style, great for blocking unwanted light.

Cons

  • Again the price might put some anglers off. But trust me, they are worth it.

Takeaway

Quality does have a cost, and it depends on whether you can justify it. Provided that you have the budget, these are another of the best polarized sunglasses for fly fishing I’ve ever seen.

Superlight Polarized Riffle Sunglasses

Superlight Polarized Riffle Sunglasses

If you are prone to breaking and dropping things, purchasing something that will guard against it might make sense. These mid-priced glasses have shatter-resistant lenses.

They are classic fishing sunglasses with a tortoiseshell finish and brown lenses. They maybe aren’t the ‘youngest’ looking pair I have seen…

But so far, the fish don’t seem to mind.

As lenses go, the quality is excellent, vision under the water is crystal clear and pin-sharp. It makes it really easy to target individual fish.

When you consider all this and the fact that they are made by Orvis, you might have some of the best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing on your hands.

Pros

  • A quality brand at a low price.
  • The brown lenses work really well with the frames.

Cons

  • They aren’t the most modern-looking fishing glasses. Young people may find them a little dated.

Takeaway

For a classical look with all of the features that go into the best polarized sunglasses, you have found your pair. When I put these on, one word springs to mind. Quality.

Under Armour Igniter Sunglasses

I have no doubt that you have heard of Under Armor. They are masters in producing well-fitting sports attire. Their sunglasses are no different. As lightweight fishing glasses go, these are by far the best I have seen.

Are they as tough as they look?

They are sleek and strong. Grilamid is specially formulated to bed instead of break. With titanium inserts and polycarbonate lenses, they are some of the toughest fishing glasses on the market.

This is only aided by the Multiflection technology. The lenses are practically bulletproof.

And the fit?

The sunglasses feature a three-point nose pad, meaning once they are on, they are there for the day, comfortably too!

When it comes to UV protection, these are second to none, filtering out UVA, UVB, and even UVC radiation.

Pros

  • Great looks and high UV protection.
  • Super durable.

Cons

  • My only downside is that I wish they came in a hard case instead of a bag.

Takeaway

Ok, what can I say? I love these fishing sunglasses. They are my go-to pair. They offer great value and performance in every way.

A Quick Guide to Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

Choosing the best polarized sunglasses for freshwater fishing can be a challenge. There is a lot to think about.

I’ve assembled a quick buying guide to give you some pointers on all of the good stuff I look for when choosing…

No joke, you need a pair in your life. Want to see how amazing sight fishing can be? Check this out!

Lens Color

Ok, how long have you got? I could talk about lens color all day. It isn’t just about fashion. The lens color can make a big difference to how and when you fish and the benefit that you will get out of your sunglasses.

Here’s what I get asked all the time…

Which Color Lenses are Best for Fishing?

So if you are fly fishing, it’s going to be freshwater. The best color for freshwater fishing is green.

They work well to reduce staining in the water, giving you a great view beneath the surface.

However, if you can’t find green, don’t worry. Let’s take a look at some other lens colors for fishing:

Brown/Amber Fishing Lenses

If you like to fish early in the morning or late at night, amber is a great choice. These colors don’t filter out quite as much light, making them ideal for low-light conditions. They can sometimes have the effect of brightening the conditions!

Yellow Lenses for Fishing

Yellow really brings out the contrasts in different colors, especially those that you find sub-surface – green weed beds in particular. Fish tend to blend in well with these features, and a yellow lens will allow you to pick them out much more easily.

Blue Lenses in Fishing Sunglasses

Blue isn’t the most popular choice for freshwater. But if you fish in an area with very clear water, they work extremely well in sharpening underwater details.

They aren’t too efficient in low-light conditions.

Grey Lenses

Grey lenses are great when it really bright (this includes ‘grey’ days). They filter out the most light of all of the colors. They aren’t too great in poor lighting conditions, but for all-round use at any other time are excellent.

fisherman wearing waders and sunglasses fly fishing in river

Fit

Fit is a subjective thing…

So what should I pick?

Go for glasses that offer comfort. Look for features like rubber pads on the arms and dynamic nose supports. You’ll see from my list above that the most comfortable glasses have flexible nose pieces.

When you are fly fishing, you’ll be looking down often. Loose glasses might be comfortable, but they can very easily slip off your face and into the water. That’s not good, especially if you have invested in an expensive pair.

So as tight as possible?

Conversely, tighter glasses aren’t good either. If you pick a too-tight pair, you’ll find that your face starts feeling fatigued. They might even give you a headache, which is what they are designed to avoid!

Shape

I like having both my eyes, so for me, anything that covers them fully when fishing is a good thing! For that reason, my preferred style of fly fishing glasses is wrap-around. They also do a super job of blocking out all the light at the sides.

But…

Wrap-around glasses aren’t for everyone. Your protection may be slightly reduced, but you must still ensure that they block enough light to allow you to fish.

The shape of your glasses may influence how you store them too. My advice is to pick something with a low folded profile. That way, it is easy to throw them into your pack or fishing vest.

If you haven’t got room in your vest, have you considered an upgrade? I’ve got some great wearable storage solutions for you to look at!

fisherman waering waider using rod fly fishing in river

Arm Thickness

Did you notice anything particular about most of my suggestions above?

All right, I’ll tell you…

The vast majority had nice wide arms. Wide arms serve a few purposes.

First, they tend to be much more comfortable, as you get a really great grip on the sides of your head.

Second, wide arms go a long way in stopping reflections and light from entering from the sides.

But you should also consider this…

Some arms are so wide that they don’t fit comfortably under a hat. If you like to wear a hat when fishing, you may want to consider glasses with thinner arms.

While we are on the subject of hats, these are another great way to protect yourself from the sun. If you haven’t seen them before, you’ll find a full rundown of some amazing options over here…

Anti Shatter Lenses on Fishing Glasses

I talked about protection at the start of my article. If you can, get lenses that are unlikely to shatter.

While a beaded fly will do damage to your eyes, so will a shard of sunglasses if they don’t hold if the unthinkable happens.

And what’s more…

Anti-shatter lenses tend to be much more durable. Provided that you have picked something such as polycarbonate or composite lenses, you should find that your eyes are sufficiently protected.

fly fisherman wearing fishing vest and catching brown trout

Lens Coatings

Lens coatings make a good pair of fly fishing glasses great. You might pay a little extra for coated lenses, but it is a wise economic decision.

Many lenses contain anti-scratch properties. As a result, your new glasses will stay looking new, which means you’ll have to spend less looking for a replacement in the future.

Let’s be honest. We are all guilty of being a little lazy when it comes to stowing our gear away safely.

I have been known to throw my glasses into my pack without really paying attention. It isn’t so bad as there is plenty of room, but the lenses could get scratched if there wasn’t as much space. If you want to see how roomy fishing backpacks can be, I’ve got a good article just for you!

Summary

While sunglasses aren’t the most exciting of subjects, catching fish certainly is.

How can you target something if you can’t see it? The best polarized sunglasses for fishing reduce the need for luck, leaving you relying only on your skill.

What is your favorite color of lenses?

Let me know in the comments!

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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