Here’s what you need to know when looking for the best fly fishing sunglasses for 2020. First, you need to find something that is going to fit your face. Nothing worse than a pair of glasses that slowly slides down your nose as you watch your indicator floating through the current.

Next, and I cannot stress this enough, get polarized lenses in your glasses. These are crucial to spotting trout holding on the bottom of shallow rivers, and streams.

You also need to consider what kind of frames you plan on getting. Would you like something that looks good or are you looking for pure function? It’s great to have one pair you can wear fishing and another pair you can wear out.

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If you prefer having a pair for every occasion then look for something that’s going to be functional.

Man fly fishing wearing the best sunglasses with polarized lenses

I’ve always used a polarized pair of glasses that I can wear both fishing and out. I enjoy knowing I can walk off the water knowing that I don’t look completely like a fishing bum. That being said, the sunglass tan and the tattered hat on my head normally give me away.

As long as my polarized glasses are helping me catch fish then I don’t care. So, below we’re going to go over some of the best fly sunglasses on the market that will no doubt help your fishing.

Quick Look: Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses

#1 Best Sunglasses Overall: Costa Del Mar Blackfin

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Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses

Below we’re going to cover five different fly fishing sunglasses that will help your fishing and also show some that won’t break the bank. We’re going to cover the price, pros, and cons of each.

Sunglasses may not be as important as other gear in your kit, like your best fly rod, your best fly reel or your best fly fishing vest, but they really can help your fishing technique, especially when sight fishing.

While price is an important factor whenever you’re shopping for new equipment, you aren’t going to likely find sunglasses as a part of any fly fishing combo, so they’ll have to be a separate purchase, but they’re an important one.

Man On River Wearing Top Fly Fishing Sunglasses
Man On River Wearing Polarized Fly Fishing Sunglasses

After reading over this material hopefully, you’ll have a better understanding of what you’re looking for in a pair of good fly fishing sunglasses. Also, you’re going to look good doing it. Deion Sanders said it best.

“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you fish good.”

Or something along those lines.

Costa Del Mar Blackfin (Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses Overall)

  • Pro – Polarized, Scratch Resistant
  • Con – A bit pricey

Costa Del Mar Blackfin Sunglasses are regarded as not only some of the top fishing sunglasses on the market but a great all-around pair for any outdoor activity. They’re made of polycarbonate and trivet. Giving you the lightest and most durable lenses possible.

They also feature 100% UV blockage. Ideal for protecting angler’s eyes all day.

The glasses are also 100% polarized. This cuts the reflective glare off the water and allows you to see trout and other fish as they hug the bottom of the river.

Man fly fishing holding a fish with good fly fishing sunglasses

Which, when you’re fishing you can’t ask for a better advantage than actually seeing what you’re casting to.

These are also made with Hydrolite-co-injected lining. Meaning that these glasses will not slip off your head. Even when in your sweatiest state, or when you slip and fall while wading a river. The amount of pairs of glasses I’ve lost in the current due to a slip is too many.

It’s worth the investment in a pair that can stick to your head.

The same material that keeps the frames from slipping off your head is also the same material that is going to keep them from breaking.

Strong, and durable the Costa Del Mar’s can take abuse and keep on trucking. Ideal for the fly angler that is rough on gear.

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Oakley Holbrook OO9102

  • Pros – Great polarization, high-quality frames, cool wood finish
  • Cons – A bit pricey

I’ve had the Woodgrain Oakley Holbrook 009102 Sunglasses for over a year and I’ve taken them fly fishing on many occasions.

They’re not specifically fly fishing sunglasses and Oakley isn’t a fly fishing brand, but I find them really comfortable, stylish and they do allow you to peer through reflective water surfaces to see fish.

If you have a bit of extra money to spend, why not get a pair of fly fishing sunglasses that are stylish enough to wear anywhere. That’s where the Holbrooks can come in.

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Suncloud Conductor

  • Pro – Polycarbonate Lens
  • Con – Narrow Fit

The Soundcloud Conductor Sunglasses are square-shaped unisex glasses. Featuring nylon frames for a great fit, flexibility, as well as long-lasting and durable. Perfect for the angler who needs to their gear to be as tough as they are. These glasses are also polarized. Giving the angler a great view of the water and what lies beneath it.

Coming in at just under fifty dollars you’re getting a pair that is durable, polarized, grips your head and also comes in three different lens colors. As well as four different types of frames.

All of the lenses made by Suncloud are made of optical grade polycarbonate. Meaning that the user gets glare-free viewing through a lightweight lens that is also scratch and abrasion-resistant. The lenses also provide 100% UV protection.

Keeping your eyes safe for those long days spent out on the water.

You’ll also notice that all the lenses made by Suncloud have a base curve of 6 or 8. Meaning, the radius of the sphere is measured from the back lens. Relative to your face a six would be flatter while an eight would wrap around the wearer’s face.

Two great options to have for someone picky about sunglasses fit.

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Filthy Angler Balsam

  • Pro – Shatter Proof
  • Con – limited styles

The lenses that Filthy Angler Balsam Sunglasses use are optically correct, making them some of the highest quality sunglasses for fly fishing, they allow for 100%  clear views when in use.

Normally you would find that light is distorted when it goes through the lens of sunglasses.

Filthy Angler solved this issue by simply adjusting the thickness of the lens. Allowing you to always see the fish you’re after.

These glasses also block all of the harmful UV rays that cause eye damage. These lenses only allow safe rays from the sun to penetrate. Allowing you to enjoy your time out on the water without worry.

Sunglasses that protect against UV Rays Diagram

Made from polycarbonate, the lenses in these in glasses are completely shatterproof. Ideal for protecting your eyes from any potential accidents.

Having confidence in your glasses not breaking and knowing they can protect you will give you the confidence you need when on the water. It also keeps your focus on the one thing your there to do, and that’s fish.

Along with being made of polycarbonate, the lenses of these glasses also feature a hydrophobic coating.

This makes them scratch resistant, repels oil, water, and sweat. Allowing you to keep your vision through everything that the great outdoors can throw at you.

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Flying Fisherman Matecumbe

  • Pro -Price
  • Con – Only a few lens and frame colors

The Flying Fisherman Matecumbe feature triacetate lenses are impact-resistant and will help improve your visibility during any outdoor activity.

Also, they’re scratch resistant lightweight and strong. These glasses give the wearer confidence that they can go anywhere and do anything without having to worry about breaking an important piece of equipment.

The polycarbonate frames are strong and durable. Perfect for any type of fishing condition. The glasses also feature a nonslip nose and temple pads.

Giving ideal comfort and will ensure that they also stay put as you make your way down a boulder infested river.

The acting lens system that Fly Fisherman use helps to enhance color contrast, sharpens colors as well as clarity. While also allowing you to see below the water surface.

This is thanks to Fly Fisherman polarizing the frames on these glasses. So you can see the fish before they see you.

The UV protection for the glasses exceeds the ANSI standards for general purpose eyewear. Not only will they help with your fishing but they’ll also protect your eyes. Don’t think these are just fishing glasses though.

These are great for any type of outdoor activity or event that you can think of.

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KastKing Skidway

  • Pro – Great for the price
  • Con – Lens can pop out unexpectedly

The Kastking Skidway glasses feature a polarized lens that will help reduce glare when you’re out on the water. Along with being polarizing they also have impact-resistant TAC lenses that can protect your eyes against flying objects.

While also being able to block out 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays.

The frames are made out of Grilamid. Giving you lightweight durability like no other. This a material commonly used by the military and in the medical field. They’re flexible, as well a being heat and UV resistant.

In fact, as far as the top fly fishing sunglasses for UV resistance goes, we give the KastKing Skidway the trophy on this list.

The flexible fit allows you to easily fit them to your face and have confidence that they’re not going to fly off.

Man Fly Fishing with a good pair of sunglasses

The 1.0mm polarized lenses are more like something you would find on much higher priced glasses.

The KastKing Triacetate lenses passed all tests that were looking for optical distortion. So the glasses will not be giving the wearing any extra eye strain or headaches.

The square lens wrap design provides coverage across the front as well as the side of your eyes.

Giving the wearer full coverage from the sun’s harmful rays. While also improving vision. Along with the purchase of the glasses, you also get a case and a microfiber cloth for cleaning.

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What Makes the Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses

What makes the best sunglasses for fly fishing is durability, lens color, and polarized lenses. Most hardcore fly anglers are going to need strong frames and lenses to hold up to the harsh elements of the outdoors.

While having a good lens color will pertain to what type of water you’ll be fishing. Which we’ll discuss this further below.

Polarization

Having polarized lenses is crucial in fishing sunglasses. Doesn’t matter if you’re new to fly fishing or a 40-year vet. These help keep the glare off the water and allow you to see colors with better visibility and contrast.

Without it, you’re hampering yourself on the water and are potentially missing fish that you could be casting to or rocks that you could be stepping over while wading.

Showing Fly Fishing River Difference Between Polarized lens and non-polarized lens reflection
Reflection Comparison Top = Unpolarized Lens Bottom = Polarized Lens

So whether you’re fly fishing in South Dakota, casting a line in Iowa or setting off fishing the rivers and lakes of Minnesota, you should have a good pair of polarized sunglasses packed in your fly fishing pack.

Fit

Most glasses come in one size fits most. However, after looking around you may notice a small, medium or large fit. This something you’ll have to take into account when purchasing your glasses.

Something too small can make for an uncomfortable day of fishing. While something too large could cause your glasses to slip right off your face and into the water.

Color

Most lenses come in a variety of colors. Usually, you’ll see blue, green, gray, copper and silver. Each of these colors has a condition that they work best in. Some are meant to be worn offshore in bright situations while others are meant to be worn at dusk and dawn.

If you want a good middle ground then stick with gray. it’s a good choice for everyday activities both on and off the water. After gray look for blue and green to the two most popular colors. Below we’re going to go over a few other colors.

Amber

Amber cuts the glare better than most other lens colors. Making this ideal for sight fishing in mid to shallow water. Working best in shallow rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and flats.

It’s also a great color for everyday driving conditions. It gives the wearer a high contrast of colors. Allowing you to pick out what your seeing.

Yellow

A yellow lens color gives a major advantage during low light conditions. Perfect for fishing in overcast conditions, or during dawn and dusk. This gives the wearer a strong color contrast and allows for 25% light transmission.

Which is ideal when your fishing in such low light conditions. It would not be great to wear these during very bright and sunny days. The excess light that is let through would be as good as our next color

Smokey

Great for the angler who wants a catch-all with their lense. It can be used in any condition with success and works well off the water too. It reduces glare both on and off the water and also helps greatly with eye fatigue.

Allowing you to focus for longer periods and stay long out on the water. Compared to the yellow lens this only has a 12% light transmission. Ideal for keeping the sun out of your eyes even during the brightest times of the day.

Type of Lens

The lens type means how it fits around your eyes. Which also means the lens curvature. This is a feature when picking out your polarized glasses. the wrong curve will not allow you to reap the full benefits of your polarized lenses.

Many Different Types of Sunglasses Lenses

The best way to test this is by trying on the glasses and seeing if you have any distortion in the corner of your eyes when wearing them.

Material of Lens

You’ll find there are two different lens types for polarized glasses. Glass, and polycarbonate. Glass lenses give a nice crisp view and have a few other features that polycarbonate does not have.

They’re scratch resistant and let you see more clearly than the poly. The downside is they’re much weaker and can shatter when dropped. Polycarbonate is lighter and much more durable than glass.

Of course, there is the downside that you can’t see as clearly. However, if you’re one that breaks equipment then poly is the right choice for you.

Material Frame

When looking for a fishing frame you’ll want something that is both durable and lightweight. You want to have something too heavy that it weighs on your ears or the bridge of your nose.

You’ll also want something flexible that moves with your head and doesn’t feel like its restricting when you move your head while walking or casting.

The flexibility will also help ensure that they don’t break.

Another key point about the material of sunglass frames is that some of them are going to be corrosion resistant.

So if you’re bonefishing in the Bahamas with your best saltwater fly rod and you drop the rod, reel and your sunglasses into the sea, you’re going to want to be sure that everything will survive to fish another day, even your sunglasses.

Non-Slip Frames

If you’re not going to buy nonslip frames then you need something that is going to secure those glasses to you. Whether they be Croakies, retainers, or anything else you can rig up.

If they are not slip-resistant then they will fall off and you’ll be going through an awful lot of sunglasses. Look for glasses that have material either on the bridge of the glasses or on the temples. These are the spots that you need your glasses to be secure.

Weight

The weight of your glasses is often an undercooked aspect. You’re going to be wearing these things all day. You don’t want something that is going to weigh down on your face while your fishing.

In between casts you don’t want to be taking your glasses off to rub the bridge of your nose because it’s sore. Your glasses need to be an extension of you and in doing so they should not cause discomfort.

Comfort

Weight, Size, fit, and many other topics we’ve talked about all culminate in this paragraph. You need your glasses to bo comfortable. Anything too heavy is going to irritate you and you won’t be able to fully concentrate on the most important thing, and that’s fishing.

Man on river using 8 wt Fly Rod Combo

The same goes for fit. It’s best to be able to try on glasses in person, but if that’s not an option then you can take quick measurements at the house and compare it to the fit of glasses you would like to buy.

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Conclusion

With all of the information above hopefully, you’re feeling more comfortable in what you’re looking for in a pair of fly fishing sunglasses.

While I did state in the introduction to this guide that sunglasses aren’t as important as some of the other gear in an angler’s kit, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a good pair of polarized lenses in your pack.

Even if you’re brand new to the sport, a newbie angler should have a good beginner fly rod, a decent reel, and a good pair of polarized fly fishing sunglasses.

Now head out to your local store and pick up a pair for your next outing. It’s only going to help you on your next fishing trip.

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Buyer's Guide To The Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses5 Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses