best fishing sunglasses 2020

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// By Leonard Schoenberger
UPDATED: Oct 11, 2021     

Fly fishing sunglasses – one of the most important items when hitting the water. We share opinions on the best polarized sunglasses for fishing on the market.

How to Choose the Best Fishing Sunglasses? When choosing a pair of fly fishing sunglasses there is a number of factors to consider: the most important one being the fit of the fishing sunglasses. They need to fit 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 of and enables you to see fish you otherwise wouldn’t see.

In this article we want to share our experiences and introduce you to a number of different options concerning lenses and shapes of the best fishing glasses. For our test we selected multiple high quality lenses from well known brands such as Costa, Oakley and Smith Optics but also included a pair of fly fishing sunglasses that costs a fraction of the well known brands to see how it 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 fishing sunglasses are out there. Polarized glasses are the standard in fishing sunglasses nowadays. Let’s jump right into the best fly fishing sunglasses on the market.

Fly fisherman wearing polarised fishing sunglasses
Polarised fishing sunglasses are essential on bright days

Table of Contents

How to Choose the Best Fishing Sunglasses

Best Fishing Sunglasses Quick Answer List

Best Budget Fishing Glasses

– Kast King Toccoa Polarized Sunglasses

– Suncloud Polarized Sunglasses

– TOREGE Polarized Sunglasses for Men

Best Mid-Range Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

– Huk Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

– Bollé Anaconda

Best Premium Fishing Sunglasses

– Oakley Split Shot Prizm Sapphire Polarized

– Costa Del Mar Blackfin Pro

– Smith Optics Highwater ChromaPop

Best Fishing Sunglasses for Women

The Technology Behind Fly Fishing Sunglasses

Fishing Sunglasses FAQ

The Wading List Survey Sept 2021 - Who Makes Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses?

Best Fishing Sunglasses Quick Answer List

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

1. Kast King Toccoa Polarized Sunglasses

2. Suncloud Polarized Sunglasses

3. TOREGE Polarized Sports Sunglasses for Men

4. Huk Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

5. Bollé Anaconda

6. Oakley Split Shot Prizm

7. Costa Del Mar Blackfin Pro

8. Smith Optics Highwater ChromaPop

9. Maui Jim Peahi Polarized Sunglasses

10. Costa Del Mar Women’s Panga Square

Best Budget Fishing Glasses

1. Kast King Toccoa Polarized Sunglasses

KastKing Toccoa: One of the best entry fishing sunglasses polarized
The KastKing Toccoa polarised fishing sunglasses

Most importantly, the KastKing Toccoa Polarized provide 100% UV protection and polarized glasses. We tested them in different environments, fishing a river in low light conditions and during bright sunshine in the Mediterranean. The polarisation capability is flawless and gives you a good look into the water. Their greyish glas makes them a good overall choice if you don’t want to spend hundreds of $ for a pair of sunglasses or if you just picked up fly fishing and want to find out if you stick with it.

The fit is less snug than the Oakley Split Shot or the Smith Highwater and can be better compared to the Costa Del Mar Blackfin Pro. Due to the shape it does not block out glare as well. On the other hand, the looser fit makes it a great allrounder and a pair of sunglasses that you can easily wear around town without looking like a hardcore sports enthusiast.

The glass works well in low light situations although it cannot keep up with the Smith Highwater ChromaPop for example which plays in another league. On very bright days you should opt for a darker glass.


2. Suncloud Polarized Sunglasses

Suncloud Polarized Sunglasses
Suncloud Polarised Fishing Sunglasses

The Suncloud Polarized Sunglasses are a great entry level pair of polarized fishing sunglasses if you are looking for brown lenses. Brown lenses are a great all round choice for fishing glasses and work well in low light situations as well. Of course, the Suncloud Polarized Sunglasses also provide 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays.

The Suncloud Polarized Sunglasses are a good choice for women as well since their frame is not too wide (dimensions of the frame: 137mmLens: 43mm high x 58mm wide). They are also available with polarized blue mirror glasses which work really well in bright environments like when fishing in the sea. Suncloud Polarized Sunglasses come with a warranty against manufacturer defects.


3. TOREGE Polarized Sports Sunglasses for Men

TOREGE Polarized Sports Sunglasses for Men

TOREGE Polarized Sports Sunglasses for Men

The TOREGE Polarized Sports Sunglasses for Men are a solid entry level choice if you are looking for some polarized fishing sunglasses for your first days on the water. They come with highly scratch-resistant glasses and in a variety of colors to cover all light situations you might encounter

A no-slip nose pad and holes at the end of the temples to attach a strap (that comes with the TOREGE Polarized Sports Sunglasses for Men are features you would not expect from an entry level product – great! They also come with a lifetime warranty. You can’t go wrong with these fishing sunglasses – great value for money.


Best Mid Range Polarised Fishing Sunglasses

4. Huk Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

Huk Polarized Fishing Sunglasses
Huk Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

The Huk Polarized Fishing Sunglasses are another great pair of fly fishing sunglasses for smaller budgets. At less than $50 they provide 100% UV protection, polarisation and water repellent lenses.

They have a snug fit that makes them comfortable to wear all day and prevents sunlight from hitting your eyes. The Huk Polarized Fishing Sunglasses come in a variety of colors for all kinds of different fishing situations.


5. Bollé Anaconda

Bollé Anaconda
Bollé Anaconda Polarised Fishing Sunglasses

The French manufacturer Bollé has been known for decades for the high quality of its sports sunglasses. The Bollé Anaconda in polarized offshore blue offers an entry into high-quality polarized glasses for well under $100. It’s also available with grey lenses, which is the perfect choice if you’re looking for an all-rounder.

The Bollé Anaconda have a snug fit which makes them a good fit for other outdoor sports such as skiing or mountain biking as well. All Bollé sunglasses come with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty. If you’re looking for a very good pair of polarized glasses for fishing that won’t take the hair right off your head, the Bollé Anaconda is an excellent choice.


Best Premium Fishing Sunglasses

6. Oakley Split Shot Prizm Sapphire Polarized

Oakley Split Shot
The Oakley Split Shot Prizm Sapphire

The facts:

Frame color: Matte Translucent Blue

Lens color: Prizm™ Sapphire Polarized

We wore the Oakley Split Shot during bright days on the water since that is the environment that these lenses are designed for. If you want a higher light transmission you should opt for the Prizm Shallow Water 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. The Split Shot have a great, close fit that shields your eyes from the sun completely. Another lovely feature is the detachable leash that holds your shades when you take them off. 

These lenses are a great choice if you are into other outdoor sports besides fly fishing such as skiing or mountain biking. Their tight fit protects you against air stream when executing these sports.


7. Costa Del Mar Blackfin Pro

Costa Del Mar Blackfin Pro

The facts: 

Frame Colour: Dark Blue

Lens Colour: Grey

Lens Material: Polarized Glass (580)

Frame Fit: Large

Costa has made a name for themselves amongst fly fishermen. Their polarized fishing sunglasses are amongst the best on the market. One of our favourites is the Blackfin Pro thanks to its tight and snug fit. Its lens width of 60mm and a temple length of 121 mm makes this model a great fit for wider, bigger heads.

The grey 580 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 Blackfin Pro very comfortable to wear all day.

The clarity of the colours is stunning and 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 Split Shot 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.


8. Smith Optics Highwater ChromaPop

Smith Optics is another 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. Here’s what’s behind it:

How ChromaPop works

Through a proprietary ChromaPop lens technology, you can see detail and color beyond normal capabilities. ChromaPop filters two specific wavelengths of light that cause color confusion. By doing this the lens delivers greater definition, more natural color, and unmatched clarity to allow you to see more detail.


The eye’s retina has trouble distinguishing between blue and green, and red and green light perception.


ChromaPop filters these specific crossovers, allowing greater definition, natural color, and clarity.

ChromaPop technology explained. Source: Smith Optics website

For our test we chose the Smith Highwater ChromaPop fishing sunglasses polarized. They come in a variety of color options as for most quality manufacturers. The Blue Mirror variant is a great choice for bright days on the water. The Gray Green option is perfect if you are looking for an allrounder. If you want the utmost in low light qualities which can be especially helpful fishing during the colder months, the ChromaPop Plus Polarchromic Ignitor is the way to go.

Smith Highwater Chromapop Polarised Fishing Sunglasses
Smith Highwater CP+ (Chromapop)

We have to admit that the ChromaPop Plus Polarchromic Ignitor is a fantastic low light lense. It brings out every little detail and makes you see extremely clear.

The Smith Highwater ChromaPop frame is similar to the Oakley Split Shot Prizm lenses. It has a more snug fit than the Costa Half Moon Ocearch for example. This prevents glare in any situation. The tighter fit make them a great choice for other outdoor sports such as mountain biking and skiing as well. Compared to the Oakley Split Shot Prizm it is designed for people with a wider face.


9. Maui Jim Peahi Polarized Sunglasses

Maui Jim Peahi

Maui Jim Peahi Sunglasses Polarised Fishing Sunglasses

The Hawaiian manufacturer Maui Jim is another premium brand when it comes to fly fishing sunglasses. The Peahi has a tight fit similar to the Oakley Split Shot Prizm but is a little bigger. It has rubber insert on the inside where the glasses meet the nose. The very thin glass lenses provide excellent polarization and take stress off the eyes on a long day of fishing.

The Maui Jim Peahi comes in a wide range of colors to provide a solution for any possible fishing situation. The bronze polarized lenses are great for low light situations and fishing during dawn. For really bright conditions the Blue Hawaii Polarized version is an excellent choice.

The rubber inlay where the glasses sit on the nose are a neat little feature as the nose pad ensures the Maui Jim Peahi lenses stay on your nose even on hot days when you sweat.


10. Costa Del Mar Women’s Panga Square

Costa Del Mar Women’s Panga Square

The Costa Del Mar Women’s Panga Square are specifically designed for more slenders faces of women. Costa is known for producing some of the best fishing glasses on the market. Their Costa Del Mar Women’s Panga Square. are equipped with their latest 580p lens which offers supreme protection from UV rays and a fantastic polarisation.

The Costa Del Mar Women’s Panga Square are available in a wide range of colors for all situations. If you are mostly out on a boat in bright conditions go for the Blue Mirror Polarized or the Green Mirror Polarized glasses. If you are looking for an allrounder, the Grey Silver Mirror Polarized are an excellent option. If you are mostly out on the river in low light situations go for a lens that offers the utmost in low light qualities such as the Copper Polarized 580.


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 sunglasses 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 fishing sunglasses:

Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses: Chromapop Explained
Source: Smith Optics website
Oakley Men's OO9416 Split...

Oakley Men’s OO9416 Split…$149.44Buy on Amazon

Costa Del Mar Men's...

Costa Del Mar Men’s…$154.99Buy on Amazon

Smith Highwater...

Smith Highwater…$229.00Buy on Amazon

Maui Jim Peahi w/...

Maui Jim Peahi w/…$249.99Buy on Amazon

Last update on 2021-11-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Fishing Sunglasses Polarized FAQs

What color polarized lens is best for fishing?

The best color for a polarized fishing lens depends on the conditions you are fishing in. For bright, sunny days on the ocean, blue is a great lens colorGreen is a great lens color for fishing flats and shallow water. If you fish in low light situations yellow and light red are great colors for polarized lenses.
Do polarized sunglasses help with fishing?

Polarized lenses offer great protection when fishing because they cut glare. This helps avoid strain on the eyes. The best-polarized fishing sunglasses help you see beyond the water surface. This enables you to spot fish more easily.
Why do fishermen wear polarized sunglasses?

Polarized lenses in fishing glasses block out glare. This can help prevent fatigue during long days on the water. The mirror in a polarized sunglass lens works like a real mirror. It helps bounce the sunlight off the surface of the lens.
What is the best color for polarized sunglasses?

Darker colors (brown/gray/green) are best suited for everyday use and most outdoor activities like fishing. Blue is a great lens color for bright light conditions. Yellow and light red are great colors for polarized lenses in low light conditions.

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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