UV radiation can damage your eyelids and the delicate skin around your eyes, just as it can damage the skin on the rest of your body. Yet we often forget how important it is to protect our eyes from sun damage. People who enjoy water sports like fishing need to take extra care as the harsh glare of the sun bouncing off the water can cause serious vision problems.
What makes a pair of sunglasses great for fishing? Our three favorites all provide excellent UV protection and polarized (anti-reflective) lenses to minimize glare. With those two crucial qualities in mind, we also considered style, price, and extras that fishermen would find especially useful.
Rheos Sapelos Floating Polarized Sunglasses
The Rheos Sapelos are our number-one pick overall for many reasons. First and most important, they provide 100% UV protection. Lenses are made from a high-tech polarized Nyon Optics material which is lab-tested to be clearer than glass lenses. Users give them high marks for comfort and style. They have a classic shape and several lens and frame colors to choose from.
These shades also float, which is a plus for fishing, swimming, and other water activities. They’re reasonably priced at around $55 and come with a lifetime warranty. Last but not least, the Rheos Sapelos Company is a member of 1% for the Planet. They give a portion of their sales to support organizations that protect coastlines and waterways around the world.
Calcutta Shock Wave
The Calcutta’s are a great budget pick. They are available in only one color combination— brown tortoiseshell frames and blue mirrored lenses—but are one of the toughest, most durable sets of sunglasses on the market. The Polarized mirrored lenses make them especially great for saltwater fishing and other light-intense conditions. They provide 100% UV protection.
Costa Del Mar Blackfin Sunglasses
The Costa Del Mar Blackfin sunglasses are somewhat pricey, but they come with a limited lifetime warranty. This pair of sunglasses makes our list thanks to their versatility both in style and function. For those who need prescription sunglasses, the Blackfin comes prescription-ready. The crystal clear 580G lenses have a UV-protective coating, and the lens curvature provides full peripheral coverage in any fishing scenario. They are also available in a variety of frame and lens color combinations.
Why do fisherman need sunglasses?
Fisherman are especially vulnerable to corneal sunburn and macular degeneration.
Corneal sunburn, or keratitis, is a painful condition that can happen when your eyes are overexposed to UV rays that reflect off water, ice, or snow. It is a severe eye condition that affects the retina’s central portion and can lead to severe vision problems. And macular degeneration develops from cumulative UV damage.
A good pair of sunglasses is also an important piece of safety gear for anyone walking over slippery rocks and unfamiliar trails. The last thing you want is to cancel a much-anticipated fishing trip because you were squinting in the sun and didn’t see an obstacle on the trail.
Wearing sunglasses while fishing isn’t just a fashion statement. The right sunglasses protect you from unwanted UV exposure, keep you safer, and—believe it or not—might just help you catch more fish. It’s true! With a quality pair of polarized sunglasses, you can see through the sun’s reflection and into the water to get a better view of what’s swimming around you.
With so many great sunglasses on the market, it’s hard to choose just a few to rate as top picks. Other sunglasses for fishing we like include:
- Calcutta Rip Tide, six-inch base curvature, classic style, fade-resistant frames
- Smith Dockside, durable and comfortable, a broad base curvature for peripheral coverage, polarized, 100% UV protection
- Suncloud Polarized, polarized polycarbonate lenses, 100% UV protection, proprietary Evolve material, mirrored
All of our selections prove you don’t have to spend a fortune to give your eyes the protection they need.
What Are Polarized Sunglasses?
Polarized means anti-reflective. So polarized glasses help block the sun’s bright glare and improve vision by making colors appear more vibrant.
What UV Rating Should I Look For?
UV rating refers to the percentage of UV light the sunglass lenses block. Sunglasses with a rating of UV400 block approximately 100% of the harmful UVA and UVB rays.
What Does the Base Curve Mean on Sunglasses?
The base curve or base curvature refers to the amount of surface the lens covers. A lower base curve number, such as six, is a somewhat flat lens, while a base eight is a lens that wraps around the eye to protect peripheral and central vision.
How Much Should I Spend on a Pair of Sunglasses for Fishing?
It’s really a question of cost vs. quality. Serious anglers who rack up many hours on the water should invest in a high-quality pair of sunglasses with wide base curvature sunglasses that are best suited to their specific fishing activities. For occasional fishing and those who tend to lose sunglasses, a budget-friendly pair with 100% UV protection will still offer adequate protection.
What Color Lens Is the Best for Fishing?
Darker lenses are best for open ocean surfcasting. Blue lenses with a heavy mirror finish are coveted for their saltwater visibility. We recommend a green mirror and lighter base combination for the lake, pond, or stream fishing. For freshwater fishing in lower light conditions, consider a rose, copper, or amber lens.