Here's a look at some of the best fishing sunglasses at a price range that includes everyone.
There's an old saying that you can always look at the menu, even if you're not going to buy. This can relate nicely to outdoor gear, especially considering how expensive some things have gotten.
For a fisherman looking for the best fishing sunglasses, it's already common knowledge that some can come at a hefty price.
On the other hand, hi-tech advancements in frame and lens materials have helped things become more reasonably priced, and the importance of a good pair of shades for fishing has only increased.
We came up with a few good options for the everyday budget-minded fisherman, plus a few that might be more of an aspirational purchase. As fishermen, we put a lot of stock in our gear and some of the most important things that we use are what we put on our eyes. If you've saved the money, putting it towards great eyewear is actually a pretty good investment.
Light reflecting off of the water can be both a nuisance and ultimately detrimental to our eyesight, meaning that some kind of protection out on the water is almost mandatory. From the inexpensive to overpriced, do we really want some kind of glare cutting, eye protecting device that might actually help us put fish in the boat?
Yes, we absolutely do.
We'll start with some selections under $50 and work our way up from there.
Mondo Optics Smallie Spotters
The Googan Squad Mondo Optics Smallie Spotters are available form Karl's Bait & Tackle for $49.99 and feature a five-star rating by over 70 folks who are now proud owners. Karl's says, "This pair of fishing sunglasses features high-quality optics that are tinted, polarized, and treated so virtually all glare is removed."
According to the reviews, the big upsides are that they are lightweight and provide good vision on the water, but the downside is that they don't float or fit well on those with a larger head.
At $26.99 and with over 5,000 Amazon reviews, these shades still come in at a resounding 4-1/2 star rating. The triacetate (TAC) lenses provide excellent protection from impacts, and while seemingly geared toward men, women find that these fit comfortably and provide a good field of vision.
Shady Rays Black Emerald
At $48 these are great for kayak fishing, wading, and even for hiking. They come with polarized blue-green mirrored lenses and are shatter resistant and saltwater proof. Shady Rays even says that they have a "Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty & Free Replacements if Lost or Broken." The larger sized users said that these sunglasses fit them just fine.
Now we'll list a couple pairs of shades that are under $100.
The Toroe Range comes in Fire Red, Baja Blue, Silver, and Smoke lenses for reducing glare and eye fatigue while enhancing the water, especially in super sunny conditions. They are polycarbonate and polarized with an anti-reflective inner coating that gives the user an even better line of sight.
Pelagic Fish Taco
At $99 and with a name like "Fish Taco," how can you go wrong? Both men and women love these advanced polycarbonate and polarized sunglasses. One look at them should tell you why. Maybe the most interesting part about these glasses is that they are infused with melanin, which is a pigment found in the human body which acts as a natural defense against the sun.
These are all good pairs of fishing sunglasses for anglers that are looking for everything from shallow water use and color options, to boating and fishing in deep water on cloudy days. But what is it that really makes a pair of sunglasses special? It's usually glass lenses, resin (or a better material) frames, and when things are made in the USA they're even more appealing.
Let's take a look and see what materials are used for the top-line sunglasses that make them so darn good, and profoundly more expensive. Here's what you can get when money is less of an object.
The Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses
Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley
Costa sunglasses are the real deal. These Tuna Alley shades may be possibly the best overall fishing shades you can get your hands on, especially for serious anglers who spend a ton of time on the water. They come with a limited lifetime warranty and arguably the best polarization available.
Dragon Reel X Polar
Our editor Eric has been fishing with these Dragon Reel X sunglasses, and has nothing but good things to say about them. These bad boys have Lumalens Color Optimized technology and Performance Polarized lenses, plus they float. Eric mentioned that they fit perfectly and look good on his larger face, and the rubber nose pads and temple tips prevent them from slipping even a little bit when things heat up. Priced at $239, they aren't inexpensive, but they're worth it.
Maui Jim Stingray
At $249.99 not everyone can afford a pair, but the Maui Jim is worth it. They have the famed Grilamid frames, glass lenses, but since they are imported we'll just say that two out of three isn't all bad. They are incredibly durable, lightweight, and they have some of the best optics that you can buy.
By the way, they are 100 percent unisex.
The Best Eyewear for the Water
A pair of the best fishing sunglasses can significantly improve your vision on the water, keep your eyes protected from harmful UV rays, and battle against high-impact light transmission. Polarized lenses are always the order of the day for fishermen that intend to see through the surface of the water so that their eyes can describe what they see to their brain.
When you consider lens color, blue lenses are great for freshwater, green lenses work better for saltwater, amber lenses are best for cloudy days, and grey lenses work well for rivers and streams, especially for sight fishing.
Remember that when considering the price, plastic and nylon frames will make a pair of fishing glasses less expensive, but more susceptible to breakage. Polycarbonate lenses are a newer technology and much more impact resistant while retaining a light weight. Glass lenses are much more scratch resistant than other materials and work much better in low-light conditions, but are heavier and more prone to cracking.
For those long days out on the open water, whether it is overcast or sunny, you're going to want a pair of versatile, lightweight glasses that have comfortable nose pads and a lens technology that will reduce eye strain.
Polarized sunglasses for fishing are the ultimate in UV protection for the wary angler who understands how much his or her eyes mean to them and to their fishing success. Choose wisely, using some of the information you've gathered, and you'll literally see the difference.