- 5 Best Polarized Sunglasses For Fly Fishing
- How to choose the best polarized sunglasses for fly fishing
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final words
Is sun glare sabotaging your fishing mojo? If that’s the case, you need the best polarized sunglasses for fly fishing. This eyewear will block the glare, so you’ll have the best view of the water. The bonus part is you’ll look like a badass angler!
Fly fishing has been one of my favorite hobbies ever since I was a teenager. It’s a challenging technique and quite affordable, too, since I no longer have to buy boilies or prepare an actual bait.
Over the years, I’ve developed two major collections: fly fishing lures and pairs of fishing sunglasses. If you’re looking for your first pair of the latter, the five picks I have below won’t disappoint:
5 Best Polarized Sunglasses For Fly Fishing
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Costa Del Mar Fantail 580p Rectangular Sunglasses
Product Name: Costa Del Mar Fantail 580p Rectangular Sunglasses
Product Description: When it comes to the best polarized sunglasses for fly fishing, I swear by Costa Del Mar Fantail 580p. This is available in 59 mm and 60 mm sizes, as well as a variety of tints. Its lenses are made of 580 polycarbonate that remains scratch and impact-free on the toughest activities. I’m also impressed by the clarity and scratch resistance of these sunglasses, even if I’ve scraped them multiple times. Aside from that, this has Costa’s bio-based nylon resin frame. It’s very comfy to wear and durable, too, since mine still looks great despite years of use. Moreover, these sunglasses have 100% polarization that reduces eye strain while neutralizing reflected glare.
Offer price: $$$
Comfort and Fit
Style and Design
Value for Money
If you’re worried about the fit, these Costas have a 14 mm bridge on a 59 mm lens width. Its arm is 127 mm long, which is just the right fit for my oval-shaped face. It’s marketed for medium-shaped heads, but I think it has enough room to fit larger noggins.
The best thing about Costa sunglasses is that each pair comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It makes every dollar worth the splurge if you’re looking for fly fishing sunglasses that will last for years.
Just a warning, though: there are many sellers out there that offer fake Costas. If it only costs you around 50 bucks, that’s likely a knockoff. Make sure that you buy your pair directly from Costa Del Mar (check the link below).
Lightweight and comfortable to wear
Available in a wide range of tints
The lens is plastic, which can be an issue for some.
Costa Del Mar Women’s Isabela 580p Sunglasses
I highly recommend the Costa Del Mar Isabela for the ladies looking for stylish fly fishing sunglasses. These 580p polarized sunglasses are available in 63 mm and 64 mm sizes. It’s slightly larger than the lenses of Costa Del Mar Fantail, but it remains comfy to wear.
Aside from that, these sunglasses have polycarbonate lenses with UV protection coating. It’s fitted with a co-injected TR-90 nylon frame that’s very durable and well worth the price.
The Isabela pair is available in a variety of lens tints and frame colors. My wife loves the retro tortoise frame with copper silver lenses. You can also get in gray, silver mirror, and green tints.
As for the fit, the 64 mm size has a 16 mm lens height and a 16 mm bridge. Meanwhile, the arm is 120 mm long, which is comfortable to wear for most head shapes. However, if you have a thinner and smaller face, these sunglasses may look a bit awkward to wear.
Nevertheless, we like the smooth internal spring mechanism that allows a flex fit. These sunglasses also have a 20-degree mechanical stop.
In the package, you will also receive a Costa case with a cleaning cloth. Like the Fantail pair, the Isabela sunglasses are covered by a limited lifetime warranty. For avid fly fishers like us, that’s a value you can’t beat.
This pair is more expensive than my Fantail, but the quality and aesthetic speak for themselves.
Oakley Men’s H2o Fuel Cell Sunglasses
If budget isn’t an issue, you’ll never regret splurging on Oakley H2o Fuel Cell Sunglasses. This pair is my latest purchase, and I have no regrets.
Sure, this has plastic parts, but it bears Oakley’s Plutonite Lenses equipped with 100% UVA, UVB, and UVC protection. It can deflect harmful blue lights by up to 400 mm. It’s comfy, protective, and stylish to wear on every fly fishing trip.
Aside from that, the Oakley Men’s H2o Fuel Cell Sunglasses have the PRIZM Lens Technology. This is designed to boost the contrast and color of your view so that you can fish with utmost accuracy. It remains vivid even if there’s a blinding glare on the water.
Overall, these sunglasses have 12% light transmission and 99% polarization. Its patented high-definition optics also make the lens extremely clear on every angle.
Meanwhile, the O-Matter frame of these Oakley sunglasses is made of thermoplastic. It’s durable and can withstand deforming and shifting during action-packed angling.
These sunglasses are available in a 60 mm lens width with a 40 mm lens height, 19 mm bridge, and 130 mm arm length. This is a great choice for those with bigger head sizes and wearing larger than normal eyewear sizes.
Lastly, these are available in a variety of tints and frame colors. Take note that that you have the option to choose between the standard polarized or Oakley’s patented Iridium lenses.
Maui Jim Big Wave Wrap Sunglasses
The Maui Jim Big Wave Wrap Sunglasses are my premium pick for avid fly fishers who are willing to spend top dollar on a pair of polarized eyewear.
To start, this Maui pair has composite lenses sporting the brand’s PolarizedPlus2 Technology. It shields your eyes against UV rays while keeping the colors true to nature. This is glare-free, color-boosting, and totally worth the dollars for serious anglers.
Moreover, the lens of these sunglasses has a waterproof coating as well as an anti-reflective layer. I also like the bi-gradient mirror, where the mirror squints for you to reduce eye strain.
Aside from that, this has a nylon frame, which is pretty standard on most polarized sunglasses I’ve purchased before. It has a 20 mm bridge and a 134 mm arm, which is larger than normal sizes. Besides, the lens width is 67 mm, which may feel bulky for those with slim and small faces.
The Maui Jim Big Wave is made of MauiPure material that resists shattering, scratches, and outdoor elements. Whether you get soaked in saltwater or under the sun, these sunglasses will remain in tip-top shape.
We also have a friend who underwent eye surgery. He wore these sunglasses as protection, and he’s quite happy with how bright and distortion-free the view is.
Take note that this is marketed for the ladies. But for guys who wear large-sized eyewear, this pair is also a good catch.
Strike King Okeechobee Polarized Sunglasses
If you’re on a budget, your best bet for fly fishing is the Strike King Okeechobee Polarized Sunglasses. This has plastic lenses with an anti-reflective and hydrophobic coating. The mirror coating also makes the surroundings clear even if there’s a strong glare on the water.
Aside from that, this has a bi-gradient mirror treatment, so you no longer have to squint. It’s 100% polarized to protect your eyes even under direct sunlight.
For this price range, I’m already impressed with its quality. Sure, it’s not as sophisticated as other sunglasses I reviewed here, but it gives more than its value.
Overall, these sunglasses have 11 layers of lens technology. It’s paired with a lightweight frame that remains comfortable to wear during extended use.
This eyewear is specifically designed for anglers. It guarantees better visibility whether you’re boating, fly fishing, and doing other water activities. You’ll also receive a case on the package, which is already a good bonus.
However, I noticed that the lenses of the Strike King Okeechobee scratch faster than the other options here. But with proper care, this pair will last quite long. My wife also likes how dark the lenses are, which is perfect for the brightest day on the beach. She also said it’s dark enough to weld with.
How to choose the best polarized sunglasses for fly fishing
There are literally a ton of sunglasses in the market. Each one promises a slew of features to protect the eyes. But to ensure that you’re getting the best polarized sunglasses for fly fishing, you should check for the following:
✔️Select the proper fit
No matter how polarized the sunglasses are, it will be no use of it doesn’t fit you well. The first thing you should check is the size of the eyewear based on your face shape.
Frame sizing is the name of the game here. Remember that most fishing sunglasses have a wrap style that fits quite snugly.
To measure, use a straight ruler to measure the distance between your left and right temple under the eye. In general, those with a temple-to-temple measurement of 115 mm should get a frame size of 49 mm. It also works to compare your current eyeglass frame to the sizing chart of the model you’re planning to buy.
✔️Choose the right tint
Next, the lens tint is very crucial for fly fishers. Here’s a quick rundown based on my experience:
- Gray tint. I always swear by gray tints when boating or fishing on open waters.
- Green tint. Green tints work well for flatwater like rivers and streams with not much glare.
- Copper tint. For sight fishing and general use, copper tints are comfy and stylish at the same time.
- Blue tint. Blue tints are my go-to for open water fishing under extreme glare conditions.
- Sunrise tint. This is a yellowish tint suitable for low-light conditions. Never use this for extremely bright sunlight.
✔️Check the material
Most fishing sunglasses are made of composite, polycarbonate, or nylon materials. This is to make the eyewear light and comfortable to wear.
Polycarbonate is the most affordable option. However, it’s prone to scratches, and durability is in question.
On the other hand, most fishing sunglasses have nylon or thermoplastic frame. This material is durable, weather-resistant, and can withstand shifting and minor twisting. It’s also lightweight and unlikely to cause skin irritations.
For those on a budget, composite lenses are an excellent option. These are more durable and scratch-resistant, but it sure reflects on the price tag.
✔️Cost should be the last concern
If you want the best polarized sunglasses for fly fishing, cost should be your least concern. Always prioritize the quality, protection level, and comfort of the eyewear.
There are many budget options that you can consider, just like the one from Strike King, which I reviewed above. But for sunglasses that can take the beating of regular use, I don’t mind splurging.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you see fish with polarized sunglasses?
A: Yes, polarized sunglasses make it easy for you to see fishes underwater. It does so by reducing the glare, which occurs when sunlight hits the water. This is why anglers invest in premium polarized sunglasses, especially those who are serious about sport fishing.
Q: Can you use photochromic sunglasses for fishing?
A: Photochromic lenses may work for fishing, but it doesn’t offer the best visibility and eye protection. If you’re fly fishing under direct sunlight, I recommend using polarized sunglasses. Aside from reducing glare, it also shields your eyes against damaging UV rays.
Q: Are fishing sunglasses worth it?
A: Fishing sunglasses are indispensable accessories if you’re fishing on a sunny day. It reduces glare on the water, so you can launch your line easier. Also, these sunglasses can be used for other activities like hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, and so on.
Q: Are Oakley sunglasses good for fishing?
A: Oakley polarized sunglasses are excellent options for fishing. It has UV-protecting tints that shields your eyes while giving you full visibility of the water. Oakley also offers a variety of designs and tint colors to suit your fishing needs.
Q: Is fly fishing hard to learn?
A: Fly fishing takes a lot of practice and patience. The principle of this technique is tricking fishes into biting to an artificial lure. There’s no use of edible baits. With a bit of practice, you’ll easily learn the ropes of this technique and bring home a large catch.
The best polarized sunglasses for fly fishing will protect your eyes against UV rays while giving you a clear view of the water. It fights glare and harmful blue rays that will ruin your fishing experience. The five pairs I reviewed above will surely give you the best value for money.
Which of these fishing sunglasses do you like? Share your thoughts below!