Best Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing – Buyer’s Guide

Last updated on March 7th, 2024.

Leonard Schoenberger

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 for fishing on the market.

Best Polarized Sunglasses Quick Answer List

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

Top Picks:

Fly fisherman wearing polarised fishing sunglasses
Polarised sunglasses are essential on bright days – Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Best Polarised Fishing Glasses on the Market in 2024

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1. Best New: Smith Venture

Smith Venture Sunglasses
Smith Venture Sunglasses

Specs: Lens Height: 48mm – Lens Width: 56mm – Bridge Width: 19mm – Temple Length: 145mm

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. Their latest release for the 2024 season, the Venture (read our full review here), not only features a polarized lens but also the Chromapop technology. On top of that it comes with removable side shields and nose pad.

What’s great about this feature is the versatiliy it adds to these frames. On a really bright day, the side shields will prevent harmful sunrays from hitting your eyes. On more cloudy days, you can remove the shields to get more light to your eyes. This can also help your vision when you’re fishing in the morning or evening hours. On top of that you get a retro look and feel with the Venture.


  • Fantastic clarity and glare reduction
  • Lightweight and snug fit
  • High degree of versatility
  • Glass lens options available


  • Only downside I’ve found is the fact that the rubber nose pad can get a little sticky when you’re sweating




Smith Venture Sunglasses
The Smith Venture Sunglasses during our test. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

2. Best Fit: Wiley X Glory

Wiley X Glory Sunglasses for Fishing
Wiley X Glory

Specs: Frame width: 130.4mm, Lens width: 63mm, Lens Height: 42mm, Temple Length: 125mm.

Included: Protective case, cleaning cloth, leash.

Why we picked it:

Here’s another great quality pair of polarized fishing sunglasses: the Wiley X Glory (read our in-depth review here). 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 (they feature rubberised nose pads and the inside of the temples are rubberised as well). The Captivate Polarized Blue Mirror lenses (pictured above) are a great choice for bright days out on the water.

Another plus of these frames is their tough build. They are made from Triloid nylon which is the strongest non-metal material out there on the market. Shatterproof lenses, a sturdy frame and a low light are a great combination for fishing shades. Add in the fact that these are $100 less than the Oakley Clifden or the Costa Fantail Pro, the Glory provide excellent value for money in my eyes.


  • Very snug fit thanks to rubberised insides of the temples
  • Shatterproof lenses
  • Great color enhancement


  • A few more (low light) lens options would be nice
  • Temples could be a little wider to prevent light from coming in on the sides




Wiley X Glory Review: Fly fisherman at lake shore
The Glory provide a snug fit due to rubberised nose pads and temple insides

3. Best for Saltwater: Oakley Split Shot Prizm Polarized

Oakley Split Shot Prizm Polarized
Oakley Split Shot Prizm Polarized

The Oakley Split Shot Prizm Polarized Sunglasses (Read our in-depth review here) are a culmination of style and functionality and have been clearly designed with the fly fisherman in mind looking at their wide temples that provide ideal glare protection. Another testament to that is the integrated leash (removable) that prevents your shared from dropping into the water.

Of course, the Split Shot offer excellent polarization but where they really shine from my experience is the color enhancement. We’ve tested them with both the Prizm Tungsten lens and the Deepwater and they both performed superbly. Yes, they’re expensive but worth it in my eyes as you can also use them for other sports such as skiing, sailing or mountain biking.


  • Excellent color enhancement
  • Superb protective case and integrated leash
  • Very snug fit that prevents glare
  • Will fit a wide range of sizes


  • The integrated leash is nice to have but I wonder why it’s made from metal. Not the ideal material since it can cut into your neck




Out on the water with the Oakley Split Shot
Out on the water with the Oakley Split Shot Prizm Polarized – Photo: Christian Anwander © The Wading List

4. Best Lens: Costa Del Mar Reefton Pro

Costa Del Mar Fantail Pro
Costa Del Mar Fantail Pro

Size: Frame width: 133mm, Bridge Width: 15mm, Lens Width: 60mm, Lens Height: 41.8mm, Temple Arm 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. One of my favorites in their lineup is the Fantail Pro (Read our in-depth review here). Made from Bio Resin material, it features a lens width of 60 mm and a frame width of 133 mm. This makes this model a great fit for medium wide faces.

In my opinion, the grey 580P (polarized) 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 Fantail 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 Clifden 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 Fantail Pro is also available with RX lenses.


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


  • At this price point a leash would be a nice feature




Wearing the Costa Fantail Pro Sunglasses
Wearing the Costa Fantail Pro with the gray polarized lens

5. Best Value for Money: Suncloud Boone

Suncloud Boone fishing sunglasses
Suncloud Boone fishing sunglasses

SPECS: Lens width 65mm; Bridge width 16mm; Lens height 46mm; Temple length 134mm

Why we picked it:

The Suncloud Boone (Read our in-depth review here) are our favorite when it comes to value for money. These frames cost only a little more than $50, yet they could keep up with some shades many times their price, such as the Costa Fantail Pro, the Oakley Splitshot or the Wiley X Glory.

We’ve put the Boone to the test while out fishing for stripers and albies off Montauk, NY (see photo below). They excelled at lens clarity and polarisation in particular. They also provide an excellent snug fit without being too tight even when worn all day. You can choose from a solid range of frame and lens colors. The only downside in my eyes is the fact that there is no special low light lens for the Boone.


  • Excellent value for money
  • Rubber pads around the nose and ears provide solid grip
  • Snug fit for optimal protection from UV rays and glare
  • Multiple lens color options


  • An integrated leash would be a nice upgrade
  • No real low-light lens option available




Out fishing in the salt with the Suncloud Boone fishing sunglasses
Out fishing in the salt with the Suncloud Boone fishing sunglasses – Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

6. Best Style: Roka Hamilton

Roka Hamilton Fishing Sunglasses Review
The author wearing the Roka Hamilton sunglasses – Photo: Christian Anwander

SPECS: Overall width: 141mm – Bridge: 21mm – Lens width: 49mm – Lens height: 41mm – Temple length: 142mm

Why we picked it

The Roka Hamilton (read our in-depth review here) are not your straight forward fly fishing sunglasses at first glance. But we’ve become a big fan of these shades for a multitude of reasons: first and foremost their lens clarity is excellent, as is their polarisation – two essential features of any pair of fly fishing sunglasses.

The Roka Hamilton also features rubberised pads around the nose and at the end of the temples making sure the frames stay where they are supposed to be. They come in a wide range of frame and lens options. The only small downsides on the Hamilton are the limited width of the temples (hence if your only fishing in very bright environments with a lot of glare, these might not be ideal for you) and the fact that there is no low light lens.


  • Exceptional polarization for reduced glare.
  • Lightweight and comfortable for all-day wear.
  • Stylish look on and off the water


  • Temples not wide enough for very bright surroundings
  • No low light lens available


7. Best Color Enhancement: Bajio Paraiso

Bajio Paraiso
Bajio Paraiso

SPECS: n.a.

Why we picked it

Florida bases Bajío have made quite some buzz in the fly fishing community in recent years thanks to their fresh designs and bio-based frames that have found many fans among fly fishermen and women. The Bajio Paraiso (read our in-depth review here) is one of their most popular pairs of fly fishing shades and my favorite when it comes to style. But don’t be fooled, these glasses not only look good, they’re also made of some of the best materials in the game. 

Available in a wide variety of lens colors (all polarized of course), the Paraiso is an excellent choice if you have a small to medium wide face. Personally, I am a big fan of the brown tortoise frame paired with the rose mirror lens since you’ll also look good off the water with these shades. They are available with a polycarbonate lens or a glass one. 

Bajio Paraiso: One of the best polarized sunglasses for fishing
Out on a fall day with the Bajio Paraiso. Photo: Christian Anwander for The Wading List


  • Very stylish frame and lens combination
  • Excellent customer service
  • Great color enhancement


  • Small to medium size frame is not for wider faces
  • A retainer would be a great add on for this cool pair of fly fishing glasses




8. Ombraz Teton’s Polarized

Ombraz Teton's Polarized
Ombraz Teton’s Polarized

Why we picked it

Now here’s a pair of fly fishing sunglasses that really stands out from the crowd. Why? Because it has no temples. Sounds weird at first but works surprisingly well as we could find out when we took them on a fly fishing trip to Iceland. The Ombraz Teton’s Polarized are a highly versatile pair of fly fishing sunglasses since the fact that they’re armless makes them less likely to break the temples. Instead of arms, the Ombraz feature 100% recycled marine-grade Japanese nylon that you can adjust to your liking.

The Ombraz Teton’s Polarized also comes with removable side shields. These come in handy when you’re out on a boat for example and have to fight a lot of glare. Great thing about the Ombraz’ versatility is the fact that you can also use them for other outdoor sports where a fall might result in broken temples. Something that for sure won’t happen with these shades.

The Ombraz Teton’s Polarized come in a wide variety of frame and lens colors. Their lenses are made by German manufacturer Zeiss and we found them to provide excellent clarity and polarisation while out fishing. Hence, if you’re looking for something special, there is no way around the Ombraz.

Fly Fisherman wearing the Ombraz Teton's Sunglasses
Wearing the Ombraz Teton’s Sunglasses on a trip to Iceland – Photo: Christian Anwander | © The Wading List 2024


  • Armless – hence temples cannot break
  • Excellent polarisation and clarity of the lenses
  • Cord adjustment works well


  • We found them to fit well but not better than traditional frames with arms



9. Best Retro: Oakley Clifden Prizm Polarized

Oakley Clifden Prizm Deep Water Polarized

SPECS: Lens Height: 51.1mm – Lens Width: 54mm – Frame Width: 129.9mm – Bridge Width: 17mm – Temple Length: 146mm

Why we picked it:

I wore the Oakley Clifden Prizm Polarized (Read our in-depth review here) during bright days on the water since that is the environment that these lenses (the deepwater polarized) are designed for. If you want a higher light transmission and a good allrounder, you should opt for the Prizm Black 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 Clifden are a very versatile option since their side shields and bridge are removable. This means these shades are great for fly fishing in bright environments where blocking out the light is essential but can also be worn without these features if you want to use them for other sports such as mountain biking or hiking for example. Another lovely feature is the detachable leash that holds your shades when you take them off. 


  • Great detailed vision thanks to PRIZM technology
  • Impact protection makes it a great choice for all outdoor sports
  • Very versatile thanks to removable side shields and bridge


  • Limited lens color options to choose from
  • Only one size available (M), no option for extra wide faces




Fly fisherman with salmon in hand wearing the Oakley Clifden Polarized Fishing Sunglasses
Wearing the Oakley Clifden while fishing for Atlantic Salmon

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:

Factors to Consider Before Buying

Fly fishermen on a drift boat wearing polarized sunglasses for fishing
Quality polarized sunglasses are essential for fly fishing – Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

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.

Our Expertise

Why you should trust us: Leonard Schoenberger and his team have tried and tested hundreds of rods, reels and other fly fishing gear over the years. We always express our honest opinions about a product to help you make a solid purchase decision. We never get paid for reviews and are proud of keeping our editorial independence. Our focus is on bringing you the latest in gear so you can have a great time at the water. Thanks for being a reader of The Wading List.

Comparison Table: Best Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing

ModelPriceLens colorsSpecsWhat’s includedOur Rating
Smith Guide’s Choice$209-28910+Lens Height: 42mm – Lens Width: 62mm – Bridge Width: 17mm – Temple Length: 120mmIntegrated, detachable leash, hard case, microfiber bag
Best Overall
Wiley X Glory$1853Lens Height: 42mm – Lens Width: 63mm – Frame Width: 130.4mm – Temple Length: 125mmZippered Clamshell Case, Cleaning Cloth with Logo, Leash Cord with Rubber GripsBest Fit
Oakley Split Shot Prizm Polarized$2607Lens Height 43.5 mm – Frame Width 132 mm – Arm Length 132 mm – Lens Width 64 mm – Bridge Width 17 mmDetachable leash, leather protective case with claspBest for Saltwater
Costa Del Mar Fantail Pro$2734Lens Height: 44.9mm – Lens Width: 62.9mm – Bridge Width: 15mm – Temple Length: 120mmProtective case and cleaning clothBest Lens
Suncloud Boone$54.956 Lens Height: 46mm – Lens Width: 65mm – Bridge Width: 16mm – Temple Length: 134mmMicrofiber cloth and protective caseBest Value for Money
Roka Hamilton$1855Lens Height: 41mm – Lens Width: 49mm – Bridge Width: 21m – Temple Length: 142mmCase and clothMost Stylish
Bajio Paraiso$2097Lens Width: 47 mm – Lens Depth: 52 mm – Bridge Width: 20 mm – Temple Length: 140 mmProtective case and clothBest Color Enhancement
Ombraz Teton$130 (+$50)3Regular and XL fit – does not have templesProtective case and cleaning clothBest Armless
Oakley Clifden$2714Lens Height: 43.5mm – Lens Width: 64mm – Bridge Width: 17mm – Temple Length: 132mmDetachable leash, removable side shields, protective cloth Best Retro
All information based on manufacturer info

Best Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing FAQs

Why do I need specialized sunglasses for fishing?

Fishing sunglasses are designed to reduce glare from the water’s surface, improve underwater visibility, and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. They enhance your ability to spot fish and other underwater structures, making your fishing experience more productive and enjoyable.

What is polarized technology in sunglasses?

Polarized lenses contain a special filter that blocks intense reflected light, reducing glare. This is especially beneficial for anglers, as it helps improve visibility beneath the water’s surface, making it easier to spot fish and underwater structures.

Do lens colors matter when choosing fishing sunglasses?

Yes. Different lens colors serve different purposes:

Gray: Best for all-around use and clear, sunny days. It provides true color perception and reduces eye fatigue.

Amber/Brown: Improves contrast and clarity, ideal for overcast or cloudy conditions.

Yellow: Great for low-light conditions like dawn or dusk.

Green Mirror: Good for inshore fishing and high-sun conditions.

Are there fishing sunglasses suitable for those who wear prescription glasses?

Absolutely! Many brands offer prescription options or fit-over designs that can be worn over your regular glasses.

How do I take care of my fishing sunglasses?

Rinse them with fresh water after exposure to saltwater, avoid cleaning with abrasive materials, store them in a protective case, and avoid leaving them in extremely hot conditions, like a car’s dashboard.

How important is UV protection in fishing sunglasses?

Extremely important. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can harm your eyes. Ensure your sunglasses offer 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from UVA and UVB rays.

Do I need fishing sunglasses even in overcast conditions?

Yes, even on cloudy days, the water can produce glare, and harmful UV rays can penetrate cloud cover. Polarized lenses can also help enhance contrast in overcast conditions.

Can I use regular sports sunglasses for fishing?

While you can use any sunglasses, fishing-specific ones offer the advantages of polarization and certain lens colors optimized for water conditions.

Are there sunglasses designed specifically for deep-sea vs. freshwater fishing?

Yes, for deep-sea or offshore fishing, sunglasses with blue or gray lenses are popular, as they provide a natural color perception in bright conditions. For freshwater or inshore fishing, amber or green mirror lenses are preferred for their enhanced contrast and depth perception.

How do I ensure a good fit for my fishing sunglasses?

Look for adjustable nose pads, flexible temple arms, and a wrap-around design to prevent light from entering from the sides. Trying them on and considering reviews or recommendations can also be beneficial.

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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