Here’s what you need to know when looking for the best fly fishing sunglasses for 2020. First, you need to find something that will fit your face. There’s nothing worse than a pair of glasses that slowly slides down your nose as you watch your indicator floating through the current.
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.
Compare Fishing Sunglasses
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|TopTop Top||Costa Del Mar Blackfin||Best Overall||Buy Now|
|Oakley Holbrooks||Runner-Up||Buy Now|
|Top Top||Flying Fisherman Matecumbe||Best Budget||Buy Now|
|Top Top||KastKing Skidaway Sport||Best Value||Buy Now|
|Top Top||Suncloud Conductor||Best Midrange||Buy Now|
|Top Top||Filthy Anglers Balsam||Best Sight-Fishing||Buy Now|
If you prefer having a pair for every occasion, then look for something that’s functional.
I’ve always used a polarized pair of glasses that I can wear both fishing and out. I enjoy walking 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 I’ll go over some of the best fly fishing sunglasses on the market that will no doubt help your fishing.
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Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses
Below I’ll cover five different fly fishing sunglasses that will help your fishing, and I’ll also show some that won’t break the bank. I’ll cover the price, pros and cons of each.
Sunglasses may not be as important as other gear in your kit, such as your best fly rod, your best fly reel or your best fly fishing vest, but they really can help with your fishing technique, especially when sight fishing.
While price is an important factor whenever you’re shopping for new equipment, you won’t likely find sunglasses as a part of any fly fishing combo. They’ll have to be a separate purchase, but they’re an important one.
After reading over this material, you’ll hopefully have a better understanding of what you’re looking for in a pair of good fly fishing sunglasses. Also, you’ll look good wearing them. Deion Sanders said it best:
“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you fish good.”
Or something along those lines.
- 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 also as a great all-around pair for any outdoor activity. They’re made of polycarbonate and trivet, which give you the lightest and most durable lenses possible.
They also feature 100% UV blockage, which is ideal for protecting an 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.
When you’re fishing, you can’t ask for a better advantage than actually seeing what you’re casting to.
They’re also made with Hydrolite-co-injected lining, meaning that these glasses won’t slip off your head, even when you’re 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 it to invest in a pair that sticks to your head.
The same material that keeps the frames from slipping off your head is also the same material that will keep them from breaking.
Strong and durable, the Costa Del Mars can take abuse and keep on trucking. They’re ideal for the fly angler that’s rough on gear.
- Pros: Great polarization, high-quality frames, cool wood finish
- Cons: A bit pricey
I’ve had the Woodgrain Oakley Holbrook OO9102 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 and stylish. They also 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 come in.
- Pro: Polycarbonate lens
- Con: Narrow fit
The Soundcloud Conductor Sunglasses are square-shaped unisex glasses. They feature nylon frames for a great fit and flexibility, and they’re long-lasting and durable. They’re 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, this pair is durable and polarized. It 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. This means that the user gets glare-free viewing through a lightweight lens that’s also scratch and abrasion-resistant. The lenses also provide 100% UV protection.
This keeps your eyes safe duing 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. 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.
These are two great options to have for someone picky about sunglasses fit.
- Pro: Shatterproof
- 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, so you can enjoy your time out on the water without worry.
Made from polycarbonate, the lenses in these in glasses are completely shatterproof, which 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 you’re there to do, fish.
Along with being made of polycarbonate, the lenses of these glasses also feature a hydrophobic coating.
This makes them scratch resistant, and it repels oil, water, and sweat, allowing you to keep a clear view through everything that the great outdoors throws at you.
- Pro: Price
- Con: Only a few lens and frame colors
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. They’re perfect for any type of fishing condition. The glasses also feature nonslip nose and temple pads.
They give ideal comfort and ensure that they’ll stay put as you make your way down a boulder infested river.
The acting lens system that Fly Fisherman uses helps enhance color contrast and 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.
- 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 polarized, they also have impact-resistant TAC lenses that can protect your eyes against flying objects.
They’re also 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 material is commonly used by the military and in the medical field. They’re flexible as well as being heat and UV resistant.
In fact, as far as the top fly fishing sunglasses for UV resistance goes, I 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.
The 1.0 mm polarized lenses are more like something you’d find on much higher priced glasses.
The KastKing Triacetate lenses passed all tests that were checking for optical distortion. So, the glasses won’t give the wearer any extra eye strain or headaches.
The square lens wrap design provides coverage across the front as well as the side of your eyes.
This gives the wearer full protection from the sun’s harmful rays while also improving vision. With the purchase of the glasses, you’ll also get a case and a microfiber cloth for cleaning.
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 will need strong frames and lenses to hold up to the harsh elements of the outdoors.
Having a good lens color depends on what type of water you’ll be fishing, which I’ll discuss further below.
Having polarized lenses is crucial for fishing sunglasses. It 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.
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.
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.
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, the two most popular colors. Below I’ll go over a few other colors.
Amber cuts the glare better than most other lens colors, making it ideal for sight fishing in mid to shallow water. It works 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 you’re seeing.
A yellow lens color gives a major advantage during low light conditions. It’s perfect for fishing in overcast conditions or during dawn and dusk. It gives the wearer a strong color contrast and allows for 25% light transmission.
This is ideal when you’re fishing in low light conditions. It wouldn’t be great to wear these during very bright and sunny days. The excess light that is let through would be as good as the next color.
It’s great for the angler who wants a catch-all with their lens. 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.
It allows you to focus for longer periods and stay long out on the water. Compared to the yellow lens, it only has a 12% light transmission. It’s 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 an important feature when you’re picking out polarized glasses. The wrong curve won’t allow you to reap the full benefits of your polarized 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.
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 doesn’t have.
They’re scratch resistant and let you see more clearly than 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’s the downside that you can’t see as clearly. However, if you often break equipment, then poly is the right choice for you.
When looking for a fishing frame, you’ll want something that’s both durable and lightweight. You don’t want to have something so 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 it’s restricting you when you move your head while walking or casting.
Flexibility will also help ensure that they don’t break.
Another key point about the material of sunglasses frames is that some of them are 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’ll want to be sure that everything will survive to fish with another day, even your sunglasses.
If you’re not going to buy nonslip frames, then you’ll need something that will secure those glasses to you, whether they’re Croakies, retainers, or anything else you can rig up.
If they aren’t slip-resistant, then they’ll 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 where you need your glasses to be secure.
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 will 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 shouldn’t cause discomfort.
Weight, size, fit, and many other topics I talked about all culminate in this paragraph. You need your glasses to be comfortable. Anything too heavy will irritate you and you won’t be able to fully concentrate on the most important thing, fishing.
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 the glasses you’d like to buy.
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Table of Contents
- Fly Fishing Gear
- Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses
- What Makes the Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses
With all of the information above, hopefully you’re feeling more comfortable about 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’ll only help you on your next fishing trip.
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