by Tyler Brinks for Fix.com, July 07, 2019
Sunglasses are one of the most important and often overlooked tools for fishing. They protect your eyes from the sun and also help keep your eyes safe from objects. Beyond that, they allow you to see what is below the water. There are many great brands on the market, and finding frames that fit your style and face is one of your first decisions. Once you have found the right frames, choosing the color of your lenses – a vital part of successful fishing – is next.
The first priority in selecting sunglasses for fishing is finding a pair with polarized lenses. Polarization eliminates glare while on the water and helps you see fish and other objects below the surface. This is the most important factor in choosing the right sunglasses; for best results, they must be polarized. All polarized sunglasses will work better than non-polarized lenses for fishing regardless of lens color.
Polarized lenses absorb horizontal light waves while still allowing vertical waves to pass through. A quick test to determine if your sunglasses are polarized can be performed with a computer screen. Hold your lenses horizontally to your computer screen; you will be able to see the screen through them. Rotate your glasses vertically, and if they are polarized, they will turn black.
The next decision is to find the right color of lenses. There are several options on the market, with each more suited for certain uses.
Gray lenses are the most versatile lenses for fishing. If you plan to have only one pair of sunglasses, gray may be your best choice. They work well in all light conditions and provide excellent contrast. The one downside is that they may be too dark in extremely low light. Overall, gray is a safe bet when choosing the right fishing sunglasses.
Gray lenses also provide excellent natural contrast. The view when looking through gray lenses is closest to wearing no sunglasses at all. The contrast provided by gray lenses makes an easy transition for your eyes and is another reason they are so popular.
Amber, brown, and copper lens colors are similar both in look and what they provide. Different brands may call them different names, but these three lenses are nearly the same tint. They are a good choice for constantly changing light conditions. They allow in more light than gray lenses, so they are a better choice for early in the morning, late at night, and in overcast conditions.
These lenses are also one of the most popular choices for anglers who are sight fishing, as they cut glare and provide high contrast. These factors make it an ideal lens choice for fishing in shallow water for visible fish. Amber, copper, and brown lenses or something with a base of these colors are best for this type of fishing.
Sunglasses with these lens colors are among the most popular among fishermen and with good reason. They are versatile and cover many of the fishing conditions anglers face during a given season.
Also known as sunrise by some brands, yellow lenses are best suited for early morning and late afternoon. Their brightness and the fact that they allow more sunlight in than any other color besides clear lenses make them ideal for driving a boat in low light. They work well in situations where many would choose not to wear glasses at all.
Another benefit is that they can protect your eyes at all times, regardless of light conditions. Think of them as safety glasses for wayward hooks while fishing or flying objects while driving.
These lenses are more of a specialty choice as they are not the best for bright, sunny conditions. While they work best in the dawn and dusk hours, yellow lenses may also be the best choice in extremely overcast conditions
This lens color is perfect for fishing in bright sunshine. Many anglers who fish offshore for saltwater fish rely on the light elimination this lens color provides. They allow very little light transmission and thus work well in full-on sun and when there is glare from the water. These lenses also help protect the eyes for long periods of time and provide the best protection from harsh sunshine.
Beyond fishing, they are great for the beach or when participating in other activities in the sun. Blue mirror lenses are an excellent choice for anglers, summertime use, and those living in states with harsh sun.
Multiple Colors and Based Lenses
Many sunglasses on the market have lenses that are a combination of different colors. They may feature a mirror finish for better light elimination and also have a base of another color. Different brands may offer one of the colors mentioned above, but they have a base of another. This lens technology allows the wearer to enjoy the properties of two colors and lenses.
One example is a mirrored lens with a copper base. This allows for less light penetration in high-sun conditions, but is a better choice for sight fishing. Another example is a gray lens with brown base. This will allow for all-around usage while still providing the contrast of the brown lenses.
Choosing the right pair of sunglasses is a big decision for a fisherman. Finding a polarized pair of sunglasses that fits your face is the primary consideration. The next choice is determining what type of fishing you do most and selecting the proper lens. There are many choices on the market and, like selecting a fishing rod, the final choice depends on the angler’s preferences and needs.
Written by Tyler Brinks used with permission of Fix.com
Tyler Brinks is a tournament bass angler, originally from Las Vegas, NV. He now resides in Spokane, WA and spends his days fishing for bass, writing, making videos, and ice fishing.