Retro Chique Meets Modern Performance: Smith Venture Sunglasses

Leonard Schoenberger

Doensn’t it often feel like fly fishermen looked way cooler back in the days?

Smith tries to bring back a little of that vintage charme with their new Venture sunglasses. Fly fishing sunglasses come in all sorts of shapes and forms, most often with a focus on blocking out glare since fishing often happens in bright environments. Most brands use wider temples to ensure the rays stay away from your eyes. In recent years though there has been a resurgance of the good old glacier shades that are great for fly fishing as well. Oakley introduced the Clifden a few seasons back and now Smith premieres their new Venture sunglasses line. Here’s a closer look at these new frames that pair vintage charme with state of the art on the water performance.

Specs and Features of the Smith Venture Sunglasses

Frame colors: 7

Lens colors: 7

Polarisation: Yes

ChromaPop technology

Glass lens option

Price: $215 – $275 (The model we tested is $275)

Removable sideshields

Replacement nosepads

Measurements: Bridge: 19mm – Lens width: 56mm – Lens height: 48mm – Temple length: 145mm

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First Impression

The removable sideshields on the Venture shades. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger
The removable sideshields on the Smith Venture sunglasses. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Smith is well known for producing some of the finest frames for sports enthusiats. These include skiers and snowboarders, as well as cyclists and fishermen. If you’ve read some of our other glasses reviews, you know that I am a fan of multi-purpose lenses. And the new Smith Venture are a prime example for that thanks to their removable sideshields. This neat little feature gives you the option to leave the sideshields on on a bright day or to remove them in low light conditions to allow more light to reach your eyes and increase your vision (for example when out fishing in the morning or evening hours).

We got our hands on the Tortoise frame paired with the ChromaPop™ Glass Polarized Bronze Mirror lens.
We got our hands on the Tortoise frame paired with the ChromaPop™ Glass Polarized Bronze Mirror lens. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger © The Wading List

Polarized Lenses: The Venture sunglasses line features all sorts of different frame and lens color options. Not all of them are polarized lenses so make sure you pick the right one. For our test we went for the Tortoise frame with the ChromaPop™ Glass Polarized Bronze Mirror lens. Here’s what I like about this combination: first of all I think the glass lenses from Smith are second to none and provide an unmatched level of clarity. Secondly, I think the Bronze Mirror lens is an excellent allrounder for most fishing scenarios you’ll encounter. If you’re fishing in really bright surroundings, I recommend going for the Polarized Violet Mirror.

Chromapop Technology: If you’ve used a pair of Smith shades before, you’ve most certainly heard of the company’s Chromapop technology. As the name suggests this technology aims at increasing the color contrast of your sunglasses. I’ve found it to really work well and it particularly helps with spotting fish because of the increased contrast.  

Versatility: The Venture glasses are a great pair of fly fishing glasses thanks to excellent polarization and Smith’ Chromapop technology already. What makes them even better are the removable sideshields. They block out all the glare when the suns out. And in case you want to wear them around town and don’t want to look like a fish head you can simply remove them and have a classic frame.

The Smith Venture sunglasses with the sideshields removed make for a classic pair of sunglasses. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger © The Wading List
The Smith Venture with the sideshields removed make for a classic pair of sunglasses. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger © The Wading List

Pros and Cons


  • Polarization and contrast are top-notch
  • Excellent versatility thanks to the removable sideshields and nosepad
  • Retro chique paired with modern lens technology


  • The only downside I found on the Venture is the rubber nose pad that gets a little sticky when you sweat

Verdict on the Smith Venture Sunglasses

Smith sunglasses are some of the best performing for outdoor lovers money can buy. Now they’ve added a really cool retro frame to their lineup: the Venture. It’s the right choice if you’re digging a stylish look but don’t want to compromise on state of the art lens and frame technology. You basically get multiple pairs of sunglasses in one since the frame looks and performs completely different with the sideshields and the nosepad removed.




Frequently Asked Questions: Smith Venture

Wearing the Smith Venture Sunglasses for some lake fishing
Wearing the new Smith Venture sunglasses with the Tortoise frame and the ChromaPop™ Glass Polarized Bronze Mirror lens. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger © The Wading List

Are the Smith Venture suitable for different outdoor activities?

Yes, the Smith Venture are designed for versatile outdoor use. Whether you’re cycling, running, or engaging in other activities, these performance sunglasses offer enhanced clarity and protection.

What lens technology is used in the Smith?

The sunglasses feature ChromaPop™ lenses, Smith’s proprietary lens technology that enhances clarity and natural color for a more vibrant visual experience. This technology also reduces glare and offers excellent UV protection.

How durable are the frames of the Smith Venture?

The frames are made from lightweight and durable Evolve™ eco-material. This not only ensures long-lasting performance but also reflects Smith’s commitment to sustainability.

Are the Venture sunglasses suitable for different face shapes?

Yes, the sunglasses are designed with a medium fit and coverage, making them suitable for various face shapes. The hydrophilic megol nose pads provide a secure fit and prevent slipping during activities.

Can I get prescription lenses for the Smith Venture?

Yes, Smith offers the option to customize your Venture sunglasses with prescription lenses. You can visit a Smith dealer or contact Smith’s customer service to inquire about prescription lens options for the Venture sunglasses.