Best Polarized Sunglasses for Sight Fishing: 2020 Buying Guide
Sight fishing is one of the most fun ways to catch fish. It’s more of a strategic plan. You wait for your target to appear, coax it to your bait, and make your attack. It’s frustrating in an exciting way. The fish is the one meant to get lured in, but you find yourself getting addicted too. It’s one of the most common ways to fish for tarpon, redfish, bonefish, permit, and more. Don’t know how to fly fish? Check out our article on the best spinning setup for bonefish.
Sight fishing needs a pair of reliable polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes. This activity can take a long time, and doing it with your eyes bare can have negative effects. That’s why we’ll shed some light on the best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing here. And even if you aren’t sight fishing, being able to see through the water can be immensely important (like if you see a marlin nosing one of your lures).
These five options are the best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing on the market in terms of efficiency, convenience, and innovative features. We handpicked them to fit every preference. If you’re looking for more affordable options, check out our best fishing sunglasses under $100 buying guide.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
1. Costa Del Mar Men’s Fantail 580P Sunglasses
Costa Del Mar has been giving its opponents a run for their money, and it’s all for good reasoning. It’s the first company to develop 580 lenses; they’re now a fixed feature in all their sunglasses. The lenses are made of polycarbonate. It’s one of the thinnest materials for glasses, which translates to less distortion.
The color-enhancing lenses also block HEV blue light to protect your retinal cells. Additionally, they’re nearly 100% efficient in polarizing to provide you with image clarity. It doesn’t stop here; the lenses improve the blues, reds, and greens to let you see sharp images. This makes it our top choice for best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing.
As for the frame, it’s a bio-based nylon frame that’ll last as long as you have the sunglasses. It won’t scratch easily, and it won’t cause pain behind your ears, thanks to the highly flexible material.
- Case and cloth included
- Most efficient in bright sunlight
- Scratch-resistant lenses
- Limited frame sizes
Why We Picked It
The Fantail 580P offers a pair of the best lenses on our list. They provide reliable protection, along with sharp distortion-free images. It’ll make it easier for you to look into the water and spot your target.
2. Oakley Men’s Holbrook Sunglasses
Oakley’s sunglasses are known for their efficiency, affordability, and smart designs. And this one didn’t disappoint. The Holbrook is designed to last. It has a timeless design that’s integrated with a bunch of innovative features. For starters, the Plutonite lenses provide 100% UV protection against all blue light, which is a primary cause for sunburned eyes.
Furthermore, the lenses are Rx-able. Meaning, you can take them to your optometrist right away and get your prescription put in them. They’re also distortion-free, which guarantees you’ll not be bothered by the reflection of waves.
All things considered, bear in mind that not all colors of this model are polarized. Make sure to check the state of the lenses before buying.
- High-quality plastic frame that won’t rust
- A wide variety of colors available to fit all preferences
- The image is free of refracted light and magnification
- The lenses aren’t scratch-resistant
Why We Picked It
The Oakley Holbrook gained a place on our list because it offers high-end features for an affordable price. Besides, it provides a true clear image, contrary to the false image that some sunglasses form. We have the Plutonite lenses to thank for that.
3. Flying Fisherman Buchanan Sunglasses
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Buchanan may be a nice one to consider. It features TAC polarized lenses that are known for their multiple-layer protection. They’re shock-resistant and lightweight. On top of that, they absorb nearly 99% of the harmful UV rays, courtesy of the AcuTint UV blocker that’s also known for eliminating glare.
The lenses have a hard coating that’s resistant to scratching, so you’d be sure nothing will obscure your vision. Also, they provide a high clarity that enables you to see underwater without suffering refracted light.
The Buchanan’s frame is made of polycarbonate plastic that’s lightweight and tough. Plus, it’s heat-resistant, so you won’t feel as if your ears are on fire on hot days. Another feature that puts in on our radar for best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing.
- Five colors available to fit all preferences
- The lenses aren’t replaceable
Why We Picked It
Most sunglasses in the same price range as the Buchanan will have cheap materials. What we like about it is that it has a fairly good quality for its price. You forgo the case and the cloth, but you get all the features you actually need for sight fishing.
4. Oakley Men’s Oo9096 Fuel Cell Sunglasses
Oakley was featured on our best fishing sunglasses under $100 buying guide, and they’re here again for the best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing! The Oakley Fuel Cell is a classical pair of sunglasses that has more useful features than its shape implies. For starters, it comes bearing Plutonite lenses that filter UV rays up to 100%. The lenses are also HDO, which means they’re optimized with a precise surface that provides a distortion-free image.
The Fuel Cell is available in large sizes, so large-headed guys can rock it while staying comfortable. Moreover, it’s available in an array of 18 colors to fit all preferences. Not all of them are polarized, though, and they vary in prices.
The Fuel Cell’s frame is made of O’Matter, which is a nylon material that’s 25% lighter than common plastic, and two times sturdier. Not only that, but it’s also highly flexible. This will allow you to focus on spotting the fish without worrying about any harm coming to the frame.
- Trendy design
- Shock-resistant frame for safety
- Available in large sizes
- Short nose piece
Why We Picked It
The Oakley Fuel Cell is a highly convenient pair of sunglasses that provide high safety. Wearing it, you won’t have to worry about damaging the frame or the lenses. Also, its image is crystal-clear.
5. Strike King Okeechobee Sunglasses
The Okeechobee pair is another budget-friendly option on our list of best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing that’s worth considering. It features a pair of lenses that have a superhydrophobic coating for water, dust, and oil repelling. And that’s only one of eleven layers in the polarized lenses.
There’s an anti-reflective layer that lets you have a haze-free image beneath the water surface. As well as a bi-gradient layer that’s responsible for the dark top and bottom of the lenses. This layer reduces the light brightness coming from above and below, thereby saving you the hassle of squinting.
There are six colors available from the Okeechobee to fit different tastes. It’s also issued in large sizes to match all users. Moreover, the frame has a wrap-around design that’s comfortable to wear for long hours.
- The lenses are resistant to dust and water
- 100% UVB filtration to protect you from getting sunburnt
- Budget-friendly price
- The frame isn’t durable
Why We Picked It
The reason we picked the Strike King Okeechobee for our list is close to the reason we chose the Buchanan. It has a low-end price but presents you with all the essential features for sight fishing. The Okeechobee pair is especially known for its multiple protective layers of the lenses.
Buyer’s Guide: 3 Features We Considered When Reviewing the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Sight Fishing
Although sunglasses are merely a couple of lenses and a frame, there are some features to consider before buying them. Especially with a polarized pair. Otherwise, you may end up with a dysfunctional pair.
Lenses in polarized sunglasses are either made of glass or polycarbonate. Here’s a summary of each one’s properties.
Glass offers more clarity than most similar materials. That’s why it’s no news that it provides a clearer view than polycarbonate. It’s also scratch-resistant, which is a bonus for sunglasses.
There’s a major downside to glass lenses, though. They’re extra fragile, which makes them prone to shattering, contrary to their polycarbonate rivals.
Polycarbonate lenses are more comfortable to wear than glass ones for multiple reasons. It’s the most common material used in the best polarized sunglasses for sight fishing. The most prominent ones are their lightweight and resistance to shocks. After a while, you’ll forget they’re even there.
Additionally, you won’t be concerned about breaking them. The material is generally more durable than glass.
Color may just be the most confusing feature in polarized sunglasses. Sometimes, you’ll find more than 10 colors available of the same model, which will get your mind jumbled. Here’s a preview of what each color works for.
When in doubt, get grey lenses. They work for pretty much all kinds of fishing. Not only that, but they also provide better contrast than most colors. You’ll feel as if you’re not wearing anything.
There is one downside, though. Gray lenses are a bit dark. When they’re combined with low light, you may find your image getting dim. Otherwise, they’re a great versatile option if you want to get only one pair.
Don’t let anyone trick you into thinking that amber, copper, and brown lenses aren’t the same thing. Because they are, and sometimes the manufacturers don’t make it clear enough.
Amber lenses are ideal for sight fishing because they significantly reduce glare, and this enables you to have a clearer view to search for your target. Besides, they have high contrast, which will let you look into the water easily without getting bothered by the wave motion.
Amber lenses let more light in than gray lenses. This makes them an adequate choice for early mornings when the sun isn’t in its full glory yet. The same goes for late nights and overcast weather.
Yellow lenses are sometimes known as sunrise; don’t get confused when you’re met with the naming. These lenses absorb more sunlight than all other colors, which makes them highly safe to use during dusk and dawn hours. However, that means they’re not the best option for bright light, because you’ll feel no difference.
Yellow lenses aren’t that effective when it comes to reducing glare. They come in handy in dark light or extreme weather conditions. Otherwise, they’re not worth it. Take it as a rule: people who go for yellow sunglasses can fish without them. They’re more like safety glasses.
Blue lenses are mirrored, most of the time. So, you don’t only get the polarizing benefits, but you also get to rock a stylish look. They’re the best choice for bright light because they protect your eyes from sunburning.
On top of that, they significantly reduce glare to provide you with a comfortable, clear view of the water. Not to mention that they allow minimal light transmission.
Blue lenses are generally an ideal choice for long fishing trips. They’re comfortable enough to wear for a long time.
There are a lot of sunglasses on the market that have lenses with two colors. These are useful because they allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds. For example, some lenses are blue on the front and gray on the inside. These are perfect for offshore fishing because they cut down on the glare and don’t intervene with the water’s color.
Another example is mirrored lenses that have a copper interior. These let minimal light in, which makes them a nice option for sight fishing in the bright sunlight.
We bet you never thought about this one, but it’s more essential than you think. The curvature of the lenses will determine how comfortable you’ll be with your glasses. Lenses that are too curved will cause your vision to distort, therefore affecting your perception of your target.
That’s why you should ensure that the lenses’ front is flat. The curvature should only be on the sides for peripheral vision. Once you receive your sunglasses, you can perform a small test to figure out whether they’re comfortable or not.
Wear the glasses and move your eyes in all directions, while keeping your head in place. If your vision gets distorted midway, the glasses are too curved for you.
Our top pick for polarized sunglasses is the Costa Del Mar Fantail. It features a pair of special 580 lenses that are water repellent, 100% effective in absorbing HEV, and distortion-free. Add that to the bio-based flexible frame, and you get a pair of awesome sunglasses.
The Strike King Okeechobee is a worthy alternative if you don’t want to pay a lot. It lacks the durability of high-end glasses, but it offers multiple-layer protection. And its lenses block 100% of harmful UV rays, which is all you need for sight fishing.