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If you’re like most dedicated anglers, then you’ve got a small army of lures, somewhere between four and 17 rods, and at least a boat or two hanging around somewhere. Gear is one of the most fun things about fishing, and while it’s easy to build up a huge collection of the obvious stuff, it’s often the little things that slip through. One piece of gear that is an absolute must are quality shades. So for this article, we’ll get you up to speed on the best fishing sunglasses out there.
Whether you’re a fly-fishing purist or hard water pike hunter, there’s nothing that can ruin your day quite like forgetting your shades. Actually, the only thing worse may be having cheap shades that break halfway through the day or don’t really protect your eyes in the first place. We get it, sunglasses may not be the sexiest item at the top of your gear shopping list. But if you want to stick it out over a full day on the water with bright sunshine, then you’ll need the best fishing sunglasses that your budget will allow.
Think about any professional fishing guide you’ve ever seen on outdoor television. They’re usually the cool tacticians making the host’s job look easy as the hook up with trophy after trophy. You may occasionally see a pro guide without a pair of the best fishing sunglasses, but that would be rare. For people in know, the best fishing sunglasses aren’t a fashion statement or an optional accessory. They are as necessary as a well-rounded tackle box or safety gear like a PFDs and bailers.
So if you’re sick of sunglasses that constantly break (or aren’t worth enough to care about in the first place) then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get you up to speed on the best fishing sunglasses available in today’s market.
1. Are Sunglasses Really Necessary Gear?
Yes. The answer is an unequivocal yes. The best fishing sunglasses not only help you focus on the task at hand (which is bringing in monster fish) but also protect your eyes from potentially dangerous UV rays. If you’re a new angler, then it’s important to understand that when you’re on the water the sun’s rays come not only from above but also in reflections. There’s really nowhere to escape the blinding UV on the water and prolonged exposure can cause long-term issues like macular degeneration and vision loss as you age.
2. Are Fishing Sunglasses Different from Other Sunglasses?
Yes, and no. Theoretically, you can wear any good quality polarized sunglasses when you’re fishing but we wouldn’t recommend that. Fishing glasses often have features that are made to optimize your performance on the water that other glasses won’t have. This can include comfort features, a bigger lens shapes, special tether and hook features, and even frame colors to help keep you hidden from spooky fish.
3. Who Makes the Best Fishing Sunglasses?
These days there are many options for great fishing sunglasses. Some of the best brands today include Filthy Angler, Costa Del Mar, Limitless Fishing, Wiley X, Maui Jim, Sungait, and Torege.
4. What Should You Look for in Fishing Sunglasses?
There are a few key factors you’ll want to look for when purchasing a set of shades specifically for fishing. The first is whether they have polarized lenses or not. Polarized glasses are specially treated to cut down glare and reflection from the water while you are fishing. The next key consideration is size and shape. With many styles and shapes of sunglasses out there, it can be hard to find the size for your face. Try a few different brands but don’t be afraid to return them if they slip or feel too tight.
5. Why Do Fishing Sunglasses Look So “Sporty?”
We understand that the best fishing sunglasses may not have that James Dean appeal you’ll find with a pair of Wayfarers. But fishing sunglasses are made to stay on your face when you’re bending over half-soaked to pull a fish into a boat. They’re also made to feel so comfortable that you can focus on landing big fish. These shade may not be the top choice for your weekend brunch in the city, but they’ll keep you covered on the water.
How We Reviewed
For this review of the best fishing sunglasses, we chose a range of shades with various price points, styles, and features. We compared the features, price, availability, and warranty for each pair of sunglasses and offered a few pros and cons, too. We also chose one overall top pick from the list. These may not be the best fishing sunglasses for every angler under the sun, but they’re our choice for quality, versatility, and value.
Overall Price Range
Prices for the best fishing sunglasses can vary drastically based on the manufacturer, features, styles, and materials used. For this review, we chose to focus on shades that run between $50 and around $200. Lower-end glasses usually offer good value but don’t use the highest grade materials. More expensive shades will often use premium polarized glass and offer impressive warranties and customer support.
What We Reviewed
- Filthy Anglers Ames Polarized Polycarbonate Unisex Fishing Sunglasses
- KastKing Skidaway Polarized Sport Sunglasses
- Costa Del Mar Fantail Sunglasses
- Costa del Mar Unisex-Adult Tuna Alley TA 25 OBMGLP Polarized Iridium Wrap Sunglasses
- Limitless Fishing Sunglasses
- TOREGE Polarized Sports Sunglasses
- KastKing Hiwassee Polarized Sport Sunglasses
- SUNGAIT Men’s Polarized Sunglasses
- Maui Jim Pe’ahi Rectangular Sunglasses
- Wiley X Men’s Ops Saint Grey Matte Sunglasses
Filthy Anglers Ames Polarized Polycarbonate Unisex Fishing Sunglasses
Filthy Anglers’ Ames is a top-quality frame constructed with TR90 Grilamid. This is an American-made product, so it offers superior durability and UV protection for seasons on end. This frame riffs on the classic Wayfarer shape but adds high-performance, impact-resistant lenses to ensure that you’ll still be seeing clear even after a few “oops” moments. The lenses are made from tough polycarbonate and dual curved to provide superior clarity and color representation.
- American made
- Durable polycarbonate lenses
- Excellent quality for the price
- Classic Wayfarer shape
- Unisex style may not appeal to all anglers
Where to Buy
These glasses are covered with a limited one-year warranty.
KastKing Skidaway Polarized Sport Sunglasses
The KastKing Skidaway model offers high-grade lenses with polarized performance in three different colors. The Smoke color lends itself well to all fishing conditions, including low-light days with an occasional high glare. Their Brown shade enhances colors and contrast in medium light conditions while the Copper improves depth perception in low light. These value-priced fishing shades safely block 100 percent of the UVA and UVB rays that can cause long term damage to your eyes.
- Several lens color options
- 100 percent UV coverage
- Polarized lenses without a hefty price tag
- Multiple color options
- Lifetime warranty
- Frames may be less durable than premium brands
Where to Buy
These glasses include a limited lifetime warranty.
Costa Del Mar Fantail Sunglasses
Costa Del Mar’s Fantail sunglasses come with three attractive color options including a classic tortoiseshell with copper lenses. These lenses are made from 580p plastic and are both scratch and impact resistant. Costa included their trademarked C-WALL lens coating in these shades to help repel oil and resist water and dust.
Like the KastKings, these sunglasses will also block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. They go a step further, however, by also fighting off distracting blue and yellow light bands. With the Fantail, Costa has crafted a set of premium fishing shades that look good enough for social gatherings and truly thrive on the water.
- Classic tortoiseshell design
- Excellent value
- C-Wall lens coating
- Plastic lens material could break down over time
- Premium-grade price
Where to Buy
These glasses also offer a limited lifetime warranty.
Costa del Mar Unisex-Adult Tuna Alley TA 25 OBMGLP Polarized Iridium Wrap Sunglasses
Costa del Mar has captured the true spirit of sportfishing with their Tuna Alley model. These shades are named after a legendary location in the Bahamas in which Bluefin tuna begin their annual migration to points North. These shades are more than just a name, however, as they boast some impressive features like a patented ventilation system and internal hinges.
The lenses are made from a super tough nylon material that is fully polarized. Give these glasses a close look if you’re hunting for a premium product that you can buy once and depend on for years.
- Internal hinged arms
- Tough nylon lenses
- Increased ventilation over competing models
- More expensive than many competing models
Where to Buy
Costa del Mar covers these sunglasses with a limited lifetime warranty.
Limitless Fishing Sunglasses
Limitless Fishing has added some new floating plastic technology to their lineup with these sunglasses. These shades easily compete with the best fishing sunglasses on the market by offering UV400 lenses that are fully polarized.
The frames are crafted out of an ultra-durable and floating TPX polymer material so you’ll never have to worry about dropping these bad boys and diving off the boat after them. These could be great if you’re prone to dropping glasses while out fishing, and also if Croakies really offend your fashion sense.
- Floating TPX polymer
- UVB Polarized lenses
- Classic black frames with Wayfarer style
- Excellent value for the price
- May not be as durable as high-end models
Where to Buy
No warranty is available, but this brand does offer a satisfaction guarantee.
Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses
Torege offers one of the most versatile sun protection systems on the market with their polarized set. These frames come with three different colored lenses, all of which are fully UVA and UVB resistant. There is a smoke colored lens which is recommended for moderate to bright conditions, a yellow lens for low light, and an extra-dark lens for very dark conditions.
When used in the appropriate light conditions each of these lenses can drastically improve clarity, contrast, and overall visibility. If you’re a multi-sport athlete who needs a great pair of sunglasses for fishing, then these Torege shades could be worth careful consideration.
- Interchangeable lens system
- Excellent for a wide range of light conditions
- All lenses polarized and 100 percent UV blocks
- The athletic look may not appeal to all anglers
Where to Buy
These glasses are covered with a lifetime warranty against frame breakage.
KastKing Hiwassee Polarized Sport Sunglasses
KastKing specializes the best fishing sunglasses, but they offer a versatile frame with the Hiwassee. This model offers a super stable wraparound design that could make them a great choice if you only want one pair of shades for all your active adventures.
KastKing combines a tough Grilamid frame with a supple nose pad to give these sunglasses all-day comfort. What sets KastKing apart from some other value-priced brands is durability. They’re so confident in their product that a lifetime limited warranty is included with every purchase.
- Stable wraparound design
- An extra comfortable nose piece
- Durable frame
- Lifetime warranty
- Plain aesthetic
Where to Buy
These sunglasses are covered with a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Sungait Men’s Polarized Sunglasses
Sungait’s men’s polarized frames offer the lowest weight of any option in our list of the best fishing sunglasses. The frames are made from a premium Al-Mg alloy and are combined with a set of HD polarized lenses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
With an adjustable temple pad, nose pads, and arms, you should be able to dial in a custom fit and avoid shelling out top dollar for a professional fitting. Sungait includes a soft travel pouch, cleaning cloth, and micro screwdriver for adjustments with these shades. If you’re looking for a solid set of polarized glasses for fishing but prefer a customizable metal frame, then these could be the perfect option.
- Metal frame with a sleek athletic look
- Customizable fit
- Polarized lenses
- Very affordable
- Lifetime warranty
- Metal frames could lack some durability
- Will not float like some plastic models
- Metal frame may not appeal to all anglers
Where to Buy
These glasses are covered with a limited lifetime warranty.
Maui Jim Pe’ahi Rectangular Sunglasses
Maui Jim’s Pe’ahi is a rectangular model of fishing sunglasses that feature ultra-tough propionate frames. Stylistically, the frames come in gloss black with a micro-wrap for added durability. These shades come with Maui Jim’s proprietary grey SuperThin (ST) lenses featuring their industry leading PolarizedPlus2 coating. This helps preserve all natural color and clarity while also blocking 100 percent of harmful UV rays. These glasses would be a great choice for anglers who have a little extra money to spend and are seeking a premium product with classic looks.
- Maui Jim’s solid reputation for quality
- Premium-quality acetate frames
- Proprietary SuperThin lenses
- Classic rectangular shape
- Higher cost
Where to Buy
These glasses are covered with a two-year limited warranty.
Wiley X Men’s Ops Saint Grey Matte Sunglasses
Wiley X was founded as an eyewear provider for the US military and they make some of today’s best fishing sunglasses. With their Black Ops Saint model, Wiley X combined their beloved frame design with e polarized, smoke colored lens. These lenses offer not only total protection against UVA and UVB rays but also plenty of eye coverage against errant hooks. The Ops Saint’s nose pad is double injected for extra comfort and the lenses offer their proprietary T-shell coating. These sunglasses are made to withstand the rigors of combat and they’ll have you covered when you go to war with a trophy fish.
- Tough and versatile design
- Produced with military-grade durability in mind
- Premium polarized lens that is coated for added protection
- Made in the USA
- The tactical styling may not suit all tastes
Where to Buy
Wiley X covers these sunglasses with an 18-month limited warranty.
As anglers, we are fortunate these days to have a huge amount of great gear at our disposal. From rods to waders to sunglasses, it only takes a few clicks on Amazon to find gear that we would have only dreamed about 20 years ago. With so much available, however, it can be hard to decide what’s a good deal and what’s just cheap. The good news is that a lot of the best fishing sunglasses today offer exceptional quality at a “cheap” price.
With that said, our top pick from this list of the best fishing sunglasses is that Wiley X Ops Saint Grey. These glasses have a reputation that was built on the battlefields of the Middle East and Afghanistan. They’re ridiculously tough but also super comfortable. While they’re not the most expensive shades in the bunch, we think they’ve got all the performance today’s demanding angler needs.