12 Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses- 2023 Buyer’s Guide

// By Leonard Schoenberger
UPDATED: Dec 20, 2022
Leonard Schoenberger
Latest posts by Leonard Schoenberger (see all)

Fly fishing sunglasses – one of the most important items when hitting the water. We share our opinion on the best polarized sunglasses for fishing on the market.

Disclaimer: All products in this guide are independently researched by our team. We only recommend products we believe in and never get paid for the reviews. Learn more about our review process here.

How to Choose the Best Fishing Sunglasses? When choosing a pair of fly fishing glasses there is a number of factors to consider: the most important one being the fit of the sunglasses. They need to match the shape of your face and rest firmly on your nose. Otherwise you won’t have a lot of fun on the water.

Secondly, your fishing glasses should definitely be polarized. We will explain this technology in more detail later. It basically means that certain rays of light are filtered which takes the glare off and enables you to see fish you otherwise wouldn’t see. In our review, the Smith Guide’s Choice Sunglasses ticked both of these boxes to our fullest satisfaction.

In this article we want to share our experiences and introduce you to a number of different options concerning lenses and shapes of the polarised sunglasses for fishing. For our test we selected multiple high quality lenses from well known brands such as Costa, Oakley and Smith Optics but also included sunglasses that cost a fraction of the well known brands to see how they can keep up. 

We chose different shapes, glass technologies and glass colors. The reason behind this was to give you a better overview about what options for sunglasses for fishing are out there. Polarized glasses are the standard in fishing glasses nowadays. Let’s jump right into the best polarized sunglasses on the market.

Best Polarized Sunglasses Quick Answer List

Here’s an overview of our top 12 favorite polarized fishing glasses, ranging from entry level products to mid range and high end.

Best Fishing Sunglasses for the Money

Fly fisherman wearing polarised fishing sunglasses
Polarised sunglasses are essential on bright days

Best Polarised Fishing Glasses on the Market in 2023

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1. Best Overall: Smith Guide’s Choice Sunglasses

Specs: Lens Height: 42mm – Lens Width: 62mm – Bridge Width: 17mm – Temple Length: 120mm

Why we picked it:

Smith Optics is a manufacturer that has a long tradition in producing some of the best polarized fishing sunglasses. They praise themselves to add another dimension to polarisation through their ChromaPop technology. As the name of this model suggests, the Guide’s Choice are the go to lenses for many professional fly fishermen and women around the globe.

Here is what I like about the Guide’s Choice : With the help of a special lens technology, you can see detail and color beyond normal capabilities. ChromaPop filters two specific wavelengths of light that cause color confusion. By doing this the lens delivers greater definition, more natural color, and unmatched clarity to allow you to see more detail.

The Smith Guide’s Choice Sunglasses come in a variety of color options as for most quality manufacturers. I found the Green Mirror Lens (pictured above) to be a fantastic all-around lens color. I think the Blue Mirror variant is a great choice for bright days on the water. If you want the utmost in low light qualities which can be especially helpful fishing during the colder months when it’s less bright, the ChromaPop Plus Polarchromic Ignitor is the way to go.

PROS

  • Fantastic clarity and glare reduction
  • Lightweight and snug fit
  • Multiple lens color options
  • Scratch resistant

CONS

  • Quality comes at a price
  • These lenses are scratch resistant but don’t take that promise too seriously and always store your shades in a soft pouch since small scratches add up

GET THEM AT SMITH

GET THEM AT DESIGNER OPTICS

GET THEM ON AMAZON

2. Best Fit: Wiley X Omega

SPECS: Lens Height: 40mm – Lens Width: 60mm – Bridge Width: 19mm – Temple Length: 122mm

Why we picked it:

Here’s another great quality pair of polarized fishing sunglasses: the Wiley X Omega. What I like in particular about this pair of fishing glasses is their snug fit. No matter how hard you are fishing, these shades stay where they are supposed to. The Captivate Polarized Green Mirror lenses (pictured above) are a great choice for bright days out on the water.

If a lot of your fishing happens in low light situations you should check out the Captivate Bronze Mirror option of the Wiley X Omega. These lenses shine with their low light capabilities. If you are looking for an allrounder that will serve you well no matter the light conditions, the Captivate Polarized Gray are the way to go. No matter which lens color you go for, you will surely get a quality pair of polarized fishing sunglasses with the Wiley X Omega. Black Zippered Clamshell Case, Cleaning Cloth with Wiley X Logo, Leash Cord with Rubber Grips.

PROS

  • Snuggest fit of all sunglasses tested
  • Shatterproof lenses
  • Prescription ready
  • Great color enhancement

CONS

  • Other manufacturers offer more lens color options

GET THEM AT WILEY X

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT SPORTRX

3. Best Saltwater: Oakley Split Shot Prizm Sapphire Polarized

SPECS: Lens Height: 43.5mm – Lens Width: 64mm – Bridge Width: 17mm – Temple Length: 132mm

Why we picked it:

I wore the Oakley Split Shot during bright days on the water since that is the environment that these lenses are designed for. If you want a higher light transmission you should opt for the Prizm Shallow Water Polarized lens option. This makes the Oakley Split Shot a better option for cloudier days and the time during dusk and dawn.

Oakley has been known for building high performance fishing sunglasses for a while. In my eyes, the Split Shot have a great, close fit that shields your eyes from the sun completely. Another lovely feature is the detachable leash that holds your shades when you take them off. 

These lenses are a great choice if you are into other outdoor sports besides fly fishing such as skiing or mountain biking. Their tight fit protects you against air stream when executing these sports.

PROS

  • Great detailed vision thanks to PRIZM technology
  • Impact protection makes it a great choice for all outdoor sports
  • Customisable

CONS

  • Limited color options

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT DESIGNER OPTICS

GET THEM AT GLASSES USA

The Oakley Split Shot Prizm Sapphire in use when fishing for stripers and bluefish in Montauk

4. Best Lens: Costa Del Mar Reefton Pro

SPECS: Lens Height: 44.9mm – Lens Width: 62.9mm – Bridge Width: 15mm – Temple Length: 120mm

Why we picked it:

Costa has made a name for themselves amongst fly fishermen. Their polarized fishing sunglasses are amongst the best on the market. Brand new for the season is the Costa Del Mar Reefton Pro. Made from Bio Resin material, it features a lens width of 62.9 mm and a frame width of 138 mm. This makes this model a great fit for wider, bigger heads.

In my opinion, the grey 580 lenses are a great all around choice and perform well in all light situations. Costa praises their glass as lighter and thinner than other brands and we found the Costa Del Mar Reefton Pro very comfortable to wear all day. The adjustable nose pad adds to the comfort.

What I like in particular about the Costa’s is the clarity of the colors. The polarization of the water’s surface works excellently – as you would expect from a brand as experienced as Florida-based Costa. You can choose from a wide variety of glasses depending on the environment you fish in. As with the Oakley Split Shot Prizm we chose for the test, Costa’s Blue Mirror glass is a great choice if you fish in saltwater a lot. For the utmost in low light qualities the Sunrise Silver Mirror is the way to go. The Costa Del Mar Reefton Pro is also available with RX lenses.

PROS

  • Polarized glass lenses
  • Perfect for wide faces
  • Adjustable nose pad

CONS

  • A yellow or orange lens would be a nice addition

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT CABELAS

GET IT AT BASS PRO SHOPS

5. Best Polarization: Maui Jim Peahi Polarized Sunglasses

SPECS: Lens Height: 41mm – Lens Width: 65mm – Bridge Width: 19mm – Temple Length: 120mm

Why we picked it:

The Hawaiian manufacturer Maui Jim is another premium brand when it comes to fly fishing sunglasses. The Peahi has a tight fit similar to the Oakley Split Shot Prizm but is a little bigger. It has a rubber insert on the inside where the glasses meet the nose. The very thin glass lenses provide excellent polarization and take stress off the eyes on a long day of fishing.

The Maui Jim Peahi comes in a wide range of colors to provide a solution for any possible fishing situation. I found the bronze polarized lenses to be great for low light situations and fishing during dawn. For really bright conditions the Blue Hawaii Polarized version is my favorite lens color.

The rubber inlay where the glasses sit on the nose is a neat little feature as the nose pad ensures the Maui Jim Peahi lenses stay on your nose even on hot days when you sweat.

PROS

  • Ideal for slightly wider faces
  • Superior clarity
  • Anti corrosive spring – great for saltwater fishing

CONS

  • Like the Oakley, a few more lens colors would be great

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT BASS PRO SHOPS

GET THEM AT SPORTRX

Maui Jim Lense Guide: Courtesy of Maui Jim
Maui Jim Lense Guide: Courtesy of Maui Jim

6. Best Value for Money: Huk Polarized

Why we picked it:

The Huk Polarized are another great pair of sunglasses for smaller budgets. At around $50 they provide 100% UV protection, polarisation and water repellent lenses. HUK is well known for producing quality gear at affordable prices – make sure to check their fishing shirts and shorts as well.

I found the Huk Polarized to have a snug fit that makes them comfortable to wear all day and prevents sunlight from hitting your eyes. The Huk Polarized come in a variety of colors for all kinds of different fishing situations. The Blue Mirror lens (pictured above) is great for bright days fishing in saltwater. If you are looking for good lowlight capabilities, go for the brown lens. If you are looking for an allrounder, the gray lens is my favorite choice.

PROS

  • Great value for money
  • Multiple color options
  • Solid fit

CONS

  • Not ideal for smaller faces

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT WEST MARINE

7. Best Daily Use: Bollé Anaconda

SPECS: Lens Height: 35mm – Lens Width: 64mm – Bridge Width: 17mm – Temple Length: 125mm

Why we picked it:

The French manufacturer Bollé has been known for decades for the high quality of its sports sunglasses. The Bollé Anaconda in polarized offshore blue offers an entry into high-quality polarized glasses for well under $100. It’s also available with grey lenses, which is the perfect choice if you’re looking for an all-rounder.

I like the Bollé Anaconda‘s snug fit which makes them a good fit for other outdoor sports such as skiing or mountain biking as well. All Bollé sunglasses come with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty. If you’re looking for a very good pair of polarized glasses for fishing that won’t take the hair right off your head, the Bollé Anaconda is an excellent choice.

PROS

  • Best for medium-wide faces
  • Quality color enhancement
  • Solid polarisation

CONS

  • No orange or yellow lens available

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT SPORT RX

GET THEM AT BOBWARDS

8. Best Entry Level: Kast King Toccoa Polarized Sunglasses

Why we picked it:

Most importantly, the KastKing Toccoa Polarized provide 100% UV protection and polarized glasses. I tested them in different environments, fishing a river in low light conditions and during bright sunshine in the Mediterranean. The polarisation capability is flawless and gives you a good look into the water. Their greyish glas makes them a good overall choice if you don’t want to spend hundreds of $ for a pair of sunglasses or if you just picked up fly fishing and want to find out if you stick with it.

The fit is less snug than the Oakley Split Shot or the Smith Guide’s Choice and can be better compared to the Costa Del Mar Reefton Pro. Due to the shape it does not block out glare as well. On the other hand, the looser fit makes it a great allrounder and a pair of sunglasses that you can easily wear around town without looking like a hardcore sports enthusiast.

The glass works well in low light situations although it cannot keep up with the Smith Guide’s Choice for example which plays in another league. On very bright days you should opt for a darker glass.

PROS

  • Medium-wide faces will do well with these shades
  • Colors come to live quite well

CONS

  • No orange or yellow lens available
  • Does not block out all light on the sides

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT KASTKING

9. Best Freshwater: Suncloud Sentry

Why we picked it:

The Suncloud Sentry are a great entry level pair of polarized fishing sunglasses if you are looking for brown lenses. Brown lenses are a great all round choice for fishing glasses and work well in low light situations as well. Of course, the Suncloud Sentry also provide 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays.

The Suncloud Sentry are a good choice for women as well since their frame is not too wide (dimensions of the frame: 137mmLens: 43mm high x 58mm wide). They are also available with polarized blue mirror glasses which work really well in bright environments like when fishing in the sea. The fact that the Suncloud Sentry come with a warranty against manufacturer defects is a plus.

PROS

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Bio-based frame material
  • Comes with microfiber bag

CONS

  • Limited color options
  • Not ideal for wide faces

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT REEL FLY ROD

GET THEM AT REI

10. Best Multi Purpose: TOREGE Poetic

SPECS: Lens Height: 48mm – Lens Width: 65mm – Bridge Width: 14mm – Temple Length: 122mm

Why we picked it:

The TOREGE Poetic are a solid entry level choice if you are looking for some polarized fishing sunglasses for your first days on the water. They come with highly scratch-resistant glasses and in a variety of colors to cover all light situations you might encounter

I found the no-slip nose pad to work well and holes at the end of the temples allow you to attach a strap that comes with the TOREGE Poetic are features you would not expect from an entry level product – great! They also come with a lifetime warranty. You can’t go wrong with these fishing glasses – great value for money.

PROS

  • Quality polarisation and clarity
  • Solid color range
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Comes without a case – only a pouch

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT TOREGE

11. Best Low Budget: Tifosi SWANK | SATIN BLACK POLARIZED

SPECS: Lens Height: 42mm – Lens Width: 51mm – Bridge Width: 14mm – Temple Length: 137mm

Why we picked it:

Here is another quality pair of polarised fishing sunglasses for under $50: the Tifosi SWANK | SATIN BLACK. The American brand has gained many outdoor fans who are looking for a solid pair of shades for sports such as cycling, golf or fishing.

The Tifosi SWANK | SATIN BLACK feature a shatterproof polycarbonate lens that reduces glare and provides 100% protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. In the test, I found that the hydrophilic nose pads make sure your shades stay where they are supposed to. Weighing in at only 23g, the Tifosi SWANK | SATIN BLACK are lightweight and available in a wide range of color specifications.

PROS

  • Prescription available
  • Multiple lens color options
  • Ideal for slimmer faces

CONS

  • Doesn’t block all light due to shape

GET THEM AT TIFOSI

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT REI

12. Best for Women: Costa Del Mar Women’s Panga Square

Why we picked it:

The Costa Del Mar Women’s Panga Square are specifically designed for more slenders faces of women. Costa is known for producing some of the best fishing glasses on the market. Their Costa Del Mar Women’s Panga Square. are equipped with their latest 580p lens which offers supreme protection from UV rays and a fantastic polarisation.

The Costa Del Mar Women’s Panga Square are available in a wide range of colors for all situations. If you are mostly out on a boat in bright conditions go for the Blue Mirror Polarized or the Green Mirror Polarized glasses. If you are looking for an allrounder, the Grey Silver Mirror Polarized are an excellent option. If you are mostly out on the river in low light situations go for a lens that offers the utmost in low light qualities such as the Copper Polarized 580.

PROS

  • Ideal for wide faces
  • RX available
  • Great all-around sports sunglasses

CONS

  • Fit could be a little more snug

GET THEM AT BASS PRO SHOPS

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT WALMART

Bonus: Oakley Radar® EV Path®

Why we picked it:

I just tested another great pair of fishing sunglasses that cover a special situation when out on the water. Oftentimes one of the best times to fish is when dawn comes. The problem with regular sunglasses is that they get “too dark” when the light fades: enter the Oakley Radar® EV Path® photochromic.

The Oakley Radar® EV Path® with the Clear To Black Iridium Photochromic lenses features lenses that “get darker” when the sun’s out and “brighter” when the light fades. This means your eyes are protected even when it gets too dark to see with regular glasses. The Oakley Radar® EV Path® are available in many variations and also with polarized lenses.

PROS

  • Photochromatic: covers many fishing situations
  • Customisable
  • Prescription options available

CONS

  • Some models don’t feature polarisation

GET THEM ON AMAZON

GET THEM AT GLASSES USA

GET THEM AT OAKLEY

Wearing the Oakley Radar® EV Path®: Some of the best fishing sunglasses on the market in 2022.
Wearing the Oakley Radar® EV Path® while salmon fishing

The technology behind polarized fishing glasses

Polarized fishing sunglasses emphasize certain parts of the light and provide stronger contrasts. They are important when fly fishing because their special lenses prevent or reduce light reflexes and reflections for example on the water’s surface.

Your eyes get less tired because they don’t constantly have to adapt to new lighting conditions. First and foremost they enable you to literally look into the water. Spotting fish gets easier no matter whether you fish in fresh or saltwater. Polarized fishing glasses also help you to figure out underwater structures more precisely or can support your vision when wading.

This image from Smith Optics’ website neatly explains the advantages of using polarized sunglasses for fishing:

Oakley Men's OO9416 Split...
Costa Del Mar Men's...
Smith Highwater...
Maui Jim Men's and...
Oakley Men's OO9416 Split...
Costa Del Mar Men's...
Smith Highwater...
Maui Jim Men's and...
$200.12
$213.00
Price not available
$262.00
Oakley Men's OO9416 Split...
Oakley Men's OO9416 Split...
$200.12
Costa Del Mar Men's...
Costa Del Mar Men's...
$213.00
Smith Highwater...
Smith Highwater...
Price not available
Maui Jim Men's and...
Maui Jim Men's and...
$262.00

Last update on 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Factors to Consider Before Buying

Fishing Environment

The time of day and the environment you’re fishing in make a difference in the lenses and frames you should pick. When you’re mostly fishing in saltwater you will often encounter bright days that will come with a lot of glare. For these circumstances, a snug fit and lens colors such as blue or green are ideal. In that case, also make sure to choose a pair that doesn’t feature any components that could corrode.

If most of your fishing happens on rivers or inshore water bodies a snug fit is not as crucial but still highly recommended. A lens color of yellow, orange or light brown is ideal if you you’re often fishing into the night or in other low light conditions.

The Wading List Survey Sept 2021 - Who Makes Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses?

Additional Gear

Sunglasses for fishing are essential for any kind of fishing. To protect yourself from the sun, you can use additional pieces of gear such as a hat, face masks (neck gaitors) and fishing shirts with UV protection.

Best Fishing Sunglasses FAQs


What color polarized lens is best for fishing?


The best color for a polarized fishing lens depends on the conditions you are fishing in. For bright, sunny days on the ocean, blue is a great lens color. Green is a great lens color for fishing flats and shallow water. If you fish in low light situations yellow and light red are great colors for polarized lenses.


Do polarized sunglasses help with fishing?


Polarized lenses offer great protection when fishing because they cut glare. This helps avoid strain on the eyes. The best-polarized fishing sunglasses help you see beyond the water surface. This enables you to spot fish more easily.


Why do fishermen wear polarized sunglasses?


Polarized lenses in fishing glasses block out glare. This can help prevent fatigue during long days on the water. The mirror in a polarized sunglass lens works like a real mirror. It helps bounce the sunlight off the surface of the lens.


What is the best color for polarized sunglasses?


Darker colors (brown/gray/green) are best suited for everyday use and most outdoor activities like fishing. Blue is a great lens color for bright light conditions. Yellow and light red are great colors for polarized lenses in low light conditions.

Read more of our Gear Guide here:

10 Best Wading Boot for Fly Fishing

Best Fly Fishing Waders – Buyer’s Guide

Best Fly Rod Combos

Best Fly Tying Vise

Best Fillet Knife for Preparing your Catch

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