Tips for Buying Fishing Sunglasses

Tips for Buying Fishing Sunglasses

fishing sunglasses

These glass lenses have been good to me for a long time.

All fishermen should wear Polarized fishing sunglasses while fishing. They protect your eyes from both the sun and from errant fishhooks. A sunburned retina or fishhook through the cornea will ruin your day.

Your fishing sunglasses will be awesome for driving too, something to keep in mind when you’re counting your pennies.

You should wear the best fishing sunglasses you can afford. God only gave you two eyes and when they’re damaged you’re out of luck. If you don’t need a prescription, the highest quality fishing sunglasses can be purchased at discount houses, such as Sierra Trading Post. If you need a prescription, though, be prepared to part with $200-400. Sorry.

Look for sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of all ultraviolet light. Sunglasses with lenses that wrap around to your temples keep out more light and UV radiation than typical lenses. Keep in mind that most good fishing sunglasses are not labelled “fishing sunglasses.”

Fishing Sunglasses Lens Material

Your first decision once you have decided to spend some money is whether you want glass or polycarbonate lenses. Compared to glass, polycarbonate scratches easily. If you like to keep up with the latest styles, and have new glasses two or three times a year, it makes sense to get polycarbonate lenses. Poly lenses have the highest impact protection. From that point of view they are the best lenses you can get. Polycarbonate lenses require more care than glass; for example, they should not be cleaned with any paper products. They should be cleaned with a microfiber cloth after being wetted with clean water or a lens cleaning solution.

If, however, you dropped $350 for a prescription pair and want them to last as long as possible, you may prefer glass. They will be heavier than the polycarbonate. I have a pair of prescription glass lenses that are on their fourth set of frames. Glass lenses will last for years if you give them a modest amount of care. And this may make purists shudder, but I clean my glass lenses by licking them and then rubbing them clean with a paper towel.

Fishing Sunglasses Lens Color

The preferred lens color (what you look through, not the mirror coating on the front) depends on how you intend to use the glasses. Shallow water fishermen prefer dark amber (read BROWN) lenses for sunny days, and light amber (yellowish) for when it’s cloudy. Offshore guys like gray lenses. If you find a good source of discount glasses that you like, get several pairs with different color lenses. If you have to pay full freight, get the color you will use the most. My glass lenses are dark amber and they have worked well for me in all kinds of conditions for many years.

Some Polarized Fishing Sunglasses Companies

Many companies make quality eyewear for anglers. The glass lenses mentioned above were made by Ocean Waves, in Atlantic Beach, Florida. I’ve been very happy with their customer service and would recommend them without reservation.

I recently got a pair of Smith Optics prescription sunglasses with polycarbonate lenses. The view is crisp, the customer service was great, and again, I would recommend them without reservation.

My sons wear Oakley glasses. They have been very happy with them, and I would again recommend them without reservation.

fishing sunglasses

My son Maxx loves his Oakley fishing sunglasses.

I have a pair of prescription polarized sunglasses obtained from an optical outlet associated with the Veterans Administration. I wear them only for driving. Although I can see very well while wearing them, they seem too flimsy for the wear and tear of long fishing days. Also, I dropped them once and they have a big scratch on one of those poly lenses now. So I don’t recommend these.

There are several other good companies that I have not mentioned. Nothing against them, I just don’t have experience with their products. If you can find frames you like from any of the companies I have listed, though, you can be sure of getting the best sunglasses available.


John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.

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