How Sunglasses Help for Fishing

Keep your eyes protected from the sun when out on the water

sunglasses for fishing
Polarized sunglasses with copper or amber lenses are ideal to be able to see into the shallow depths.Capt. Dave Lear

Fishing requires special tools, and polarized sunglasses headline the list, as they allow you to see into the water and spot the fish, enhance navigation and physically protect your eyes. Choose the right glasses to match your needs.

Sunglass lenses come in two materials: glass or optical-grade polycarbonate. Glass lenses offer the sharpest optics and better scratch-resistance but cost more and weigh more. Polycarbonate lenses weigh less and still offer exceptional clarity, so the decision boils down to personal preference.

fishing with sunglasses
Mirror top coatings are added to base tint of the lens.Capt. Dave Lear

Polarization is particular critical to angler. Light reflected off surface of water creates glare, making it tougher to see. Polarized sunglasses feature a special filter built into the lenses that blocks the natural glare and haze. This allows you to spot fish on or just below the surface. Shoals, oyster bars, rocks and other obstructions stand out while the boat is underway too. Polarization sometimes makes it harder to read LCD electronic displays, and you might need to remove or pull down the glasses to monitor the chart-plotter.

Costa's Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses
Costa's Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses allow you to see properly without sacrificing eye protection.Courtesy Costa

Each lens color offers its own advantages. For visibility in shallow depths, copper or amber-tinted lenses provide the best contrast. Yellow or vermillion tints are designed for low light conditions. Offshore, where the glare is intense gray lenses remain the top choice for maximum acuity. Exterior lens coatings are another filter to add to the lenses. Coatings limit the amount of light entering the eyes, which increases the comfort level and reduces eye strain. Green, blue and mirror coatings are the most popular but they are just another layer on top of the base tint.

sunglasses for fishing
Copper or amber lenses are the top choice of flats anglers.Capt. Dave Lear

Wearing quality sunglasses protects your eyes from harmful damage. Ultra violet B rays causes cataracts, macular degeneration and other problems. UV rays cannot pass through glass, however, which is why eye doctors urge anglers to always wear sunglasses on the water. They also protect you from wayward lures and flies.

Like pliers, landing nets and hook files, a quality pair of polarized sunglasses should be part of every angler’s equipment. There are dozens of frame styles to match individual tastes. Just pick the right components to maximize the catch without compromising the peepers.