Polarized fishing sunglasses aren’t a luxury accessory — they’re an absolute necessity. We highlight the 24 best polarized fishing sunglasses for anglers of all kinds.
I went fishing for marlin and tuna a few weeks ago off the southern shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
It was my first time going off-shore fishing in a few years, and I had totally forgotten how much of a beating your body takes being out on the water all day.
The sun was intense.
We had plenty of sunscreen and water, which kept us unburned and refreshed.
(We also had plenty of beer, because duh.)
But what I didn’t have was a good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses. I brought my old Ray Bans, which I don’t really love, and thought that would be enough.
I was wrong.
The strong equatorial sun bounced off the waves in every direction, and my eyes were left trying to process what they were seeing.
By the end of the day I was seeing spots, and that was while wearing sunglasses for 9 hours!
The next day I began working on this article, which was 2 weeks in the making. My goal? To compile a list of the 24 best polarized fishing sunglasses in 8 different categories.
No matter what fishing environment you prefer, there’s a pair of sunglasses on here for you.
- Best Fishing Sunglasses: Quick Picks
- How to Choose the Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses
- Best Fishing Sunglasses by Category
- Best Fishing Sunglasses by Brand
Best Fishing Sunglasses: Quick Picks
We’ve picked the 24 best polarized fishing sunglasses across 8 categories. Here are our winners for each category:
- Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men: SMITH Optics Guide’s Choice With ChromaPop
- Best Polarized Sunglasses for Women: Maui Jim Nalani
- Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses: Under Armour Rival Shield
- Best Deep Sea Fishing Sunglasses: Maui Jim Twin Falls
- Best Cheap Sunglasses: Flying Fisherman Buchanan
- Best Costa Fishing Sunglasses: Costa Del Mar Saltbreak
- Best Oakley Sunglasses: Oakley Bottle Rocket
- Best Maui Jim Sunglasses: Maui Jim Stingray
How to Choose the Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses
If you already know the features you’re looking for, then click on one of the links above or just keep scrolling. Otherwise, let’s take a quick look at how to choose the best fishing sunglasses for you.
First, Why Polarized?
Or maybe a better question: What is polarization?
At the risk of getting too nerdy, light is a pretty awesome phenomenon because it has both the properties of a wave (like a sound wave) and a particle (what stuff is made of). This makes it a wavicle, which I promise is a term I didn’t make up.
Our eyes see things when these light wavicles bounce off objects — such as fish! — and enter our eyes. But because light is bouncing off everything all around us, these light waves are coming at our eyes from every direction imaginable.
Explanation of polarization from the Physics Stack Exchange
In the image above, your sunglasses are the “Polarising Filter” (proper British spelling), which filters out light waves moving on a horizontal plane (left to right). This means fewer light wavicles pass through your sunglasses, which prevents your eyes from becoming overloaded.
This is especially important on the water because water is a relatively flat and highly reflective surface. This means a lot of light tends to reflect towards your eyes in the same direction. Take a look at this image, which shows the effects of polarized glasses.
Polarized vs non-polarized via All About Vision
Put bluntly, polarized sunglasses make a massive difference when fishing.
Not only will they make it easier to see through the surface at the fish you’re trying to catch, but they’ll block harmful UV rays and help protect your eyes.
On-Shore vs Off-Shore Sunglasses
So we’ve established you want polarized sunglasses. Great! Now we need to talk about how to choose the best pair of fishing sunglasses for you.
Let’s start with something obvious: Where you like to fish.
There multiple different fishing environments:
- Forest streams with great overhead coverage
- Large streams mostly in the open
- Wide rivers with a ton of open sky
- Ponds and lakes with a lot of surface area
- Beach fishing with large swaths of ocean
- Wide-open deep sea fishing
I just rambled off 6 right there — roughly ranked from least reflective to most — and I’m sure you can think of a few others. Does one of those match your favorite fishing spot?
Wherever you fish, you need a particular pair of fishing sunglasses to ensure proper reflection and UV protection. What does that mean?
- Dark enough to filter out the excess sunlight, but
- Not so dark that you can’t see!
At its most basic, let’s aggregate those 6 types of fishing environments into two categories:
- On-shore fishing
- Off-shore fishing
Recommended Colors: Amber, Copper, Yellow
When fishing on shore, your big need is to reduce glare and improve contrast so you can see the fish below the surface. Amber, copper, or yellow fishing sunglasses are strong enough to filter out the excess sunlight and UV rays.
Recommended Colors: Gray, Green
There’s a lot more water in the middle of the ocean and fewer non-reflective surfaces. That means more glare, so you’ll need a different type of fishing sunglasses. Those amber, copper, and yellow on-shore glasses just may not have enough power to filter out the additional glare. For off-shore fishing, look for darker lenses that are more mirror-like and reflective to beat back the sun’s rays.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Polarized Fishing Sunglasses
On-shore or off-shore use is the most important consideration. After that, finding the best polarized fishing sunglasses comes down to personal preference:
- Size and weight
Without further ado, let’s review the best polarized fishing sunglasses.
First we’ll look at the top picks in 5 different categories.
- Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men
- Best Polarized Sunglasses for Women
- Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses (On-Shore)
- Best Deep Sea Fishing Sunglasses (Off-Shore)
- Best Cheap Sunglasses
Then we’ll look at a few top picks by brand (for those of us with extreme brand loyalty).
- Best Costa Fishing Sunglasses
- Best Oakley Fishing Sunglasses
- Best Maui Jim Fishing Sunglasses
Best Fishing Sunglasses by Category
If you don’t know which brand of fishing sunglasses you like, we’ve got the best polarized sunglasses categorized for you.
Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men
Bottom Line: The top-rated polarized sunglasses for men, the SMITH Optics Guide’s Choice come in either amber or gray, giving you options for either on-shore or off-shore fishing. The frames are made from a 53% bio-based material and the ChromaPop lenses really do make colors pop. They’re the best polarized sunglasses for men and they come with a lifetime warranty.Read more about the SMITH Optics Guide's Choice
SMITH Optics makes some of the best fishing sunglasses, and the Guide’s Choice are the best of the best. Though amber lenses are shown above, they also come in gray, which means there’s an option for every type of angler.
Made with SMITH’s Evolve exterior material, these sunglasses are strong yet lightweight. The Evolve material is 53% bio-based and “derived from the renewable, non-genetically modified castor plant.” Learn more about Evolve here.
But my biggest curiosity when reviewing brands is learning about their trademarked marketing terms. For SMITH, it’s ChromaPop. What is that?
Basically, ChromaPop is just very high-performing polarization that adds a ton of clarity and contrast. ChromaPop lenses make natural colors more distinctive, and it performs well in a wider range of sunlight conditions. That’s crucial for fishing sunglasses.
This is a great resource to learn about ChromaPop.
Usually I like to mock companies for coming up with catchy names for the same ol’ stuff as every other company — I’m looking at you, Patagonia, with your comically named, waterproof H2No fabric — but in SMITH’s case ChromaPop actually is a high-performing lens and the name does stick with me.
(But then again, I guess H2No stuck with me, too, so nice work, Patagonia.)
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Bottom Line: Many people believe Costa Del Mar makes the best polarized fishing sunglasses, and it’s hard for me to say they’re wrong. These Costa Del Mar Corbina sunglasses come in 4 different lens colors and 2 different lens materials, meaning there’s a type of lens for every type of fisherman. This is a proven brand with a strong track record of quality and performance.Read more about the Costa Del Mar Corbina
These Corbina polarized sunglasses come in a 4 lens colors:
- Green mirror for high contrast
- Blue mirror for open, reflective water
- Sunrise silver mirror for low light
- Gray mirror for everyday use
So there truly is a lens for whatever type of fishing you want to do. They come in either 580G (glass) or 580P (polycarbonate). The 580G glass lenses are heavier but also more durable and scratch resistant.
There’s a sect of people out there who say Costa Del Mar makes the best fishing sunglasses. Though we have Simms fishing sunglasses ranked one spot above, I won’t disagree with those who like Costa. I think they’re better than Maui Jim, Oakley, Under Armour, and every other brand. I just really love Simms.
Why do Costa’s Corbina sunglasses rank so highly in my book?
They’re a phenomenal combination of quality, performance, and weight. Few people want to feel like they have huge goggles on their face in order to block out UV rays and see with both contrast and detail. At the same time, you need something that actually works and will continue to work for years.
That’s why these sunglasses are so great. Corbina sunglasses have performance right up there with Simms — maybe a notch below the Guide’s Choice sunglasses above because I really do like Simms’ ChromaPop lenses — but Costa Del Mar achieves it with less weight and similar durability.
Simms or Costa — doesn’t matter much here. These two are the best polarized fishing sunglasses. If you want the best, choose between one of them.
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Bottom Line: With a matte black exterior, reflective blue lenses, and a more casual design, these Oakley Holbrook sunglasses feature Oakley’s Prizm lens technology that maximizes contrast. These sunglasses don’t wrap around your head, so you’ll see a little more brightness out of the corners of your eyes, but they’re very light and a great alternative for anglers looking for a different style.Read more about the Oakley Holbrook
These Oakley Holbrook polarized sunglasses come in a variety of lens colors and compositions ranging from the blue shown above to a light amber “daily wearer.”
I’ll get this right out of the way: I don’t think these sunglasses perform as well as the two pairs above, but they’re a quality polarized pair of sunglasses given the price tag. That makes them a good value, and that matters!
What makes these different than most others on our list of best polarized fishing sunglasses is their stylish design, which actually looks a lot like the classic pair of Ray Bans that I wear almost every day. These do not have a sporty look with that partial wrap curvature.
And, personally, I like that.
For a great value on a pair of fishing sunglasses, give Oakley’s Holbrook sunglasses a long look.
Best Polarized Sunglasses for Women[amazon fields=”B00EPKXMMY” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_class=”aligncenter img-margin-top”]
Bottom Line: Featuring MauiPure lenses, these Maui Jim Nalani sunglasses offer supreme durability, weight, scratch resistance, and (of course) polarized performance. They don’t look too shabby either.Read more about the Maui Jim Nalani
Undeniably stylish yet incredibly functional, the Maui Jim Nalani women’s sunglasses are the best polarized sunglasses for women. That’s all women, even if you don’t care to fish.
But seeing as this article is about the best polarized fishing sunglasses, I’m guessing that’s what you’re looking for!
The dark tinted MauiPure lenses offer supreme contrast, which is versatile enough for both on- and off-shore fishing. And if you’ve never owned a pair of MauiPure lenses, let me assure you they’re some of the best polarized lenses you’ll find, combining toughness and scratch resistance with a surprisingly light weight.
Here’s how they compare to the SuperThin Maui Jim lenses, which you’ll see featured on several pairs in the “Best Maui Jim Sunglasses” section below:
These sunglasses are “bossier” than the next two pairs, so if you want something more sporty then keep scrolling!
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Bottom Line: A sportier version of Maui Jim’s polarized sunglasses for women, these unisex Maui Jim Big Wave sunglasses feature the same MauiPure lenses as the Nalani above but in a blue mirror lens that’s great for highly reflective environments.Read more about the Maui Jim Big Wave
These Maui Jim Big Wave polarized sunglasses could fit in either the best men’s or best women’s polarized sunglasses section. I chose to feature them here as a sporty alternative to the Maui Jim Nalani sunglasses above.
Also made with MauiPure lenses, these mirror blue lenses are great in highly reflective environments. That means if you spend a lot of time in the open water, on the beach, or in tree-less environments, you’ll want to consider the Big Wave.
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Bottom Line: If Maui Jim isn’t your jam, Costa Del Mar probably is. These Costa Del Mar Anaa sunglasses (that’s a lot of As) have a thinner frame and weigh less than either of the Maui Jim sunglasses above, yet they still offer awesome polarized performance.Read more about the Costa Del Mar Anaa
Stylistically these are probably my favorite polarized fishing sunglasses for women. The seemingly delicate frame is surprisingly tough and made from a bio-based material with a smaller environmental footprint.
The 580P polycarbonate lenses aren’t as durable as Costa Del Mar’s 580G glass lenses — they scratch a little more easily — but they weigh much less and are great for daily wear. And with Costa’s lifetime warranty, well, don’t fear wear and tear.
The teacup-shaped lens isn’t always my go-to for fishing or other sporting activities — I tend to like the semi-wrap shape of the Maui Jim Big Wave sunglasses above — but that’s entirely a personal choice.
Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses[amazon fields=”B016EE9LQY” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_class=”aligncenter img-margin-top”]
Bottom Line: While Under Armour’s polarized sunglasses aren’t as good as the leading brands in terms of build quality, these Under Armour Rival sunglasses are a great option for those looking for the best fly fishing sunglasses in a lower price tier.Read more about the Under Armour Rival
Our first Under Armour entry on this list, Under Armour technically markets these as baseball sunglasses. You know what? They work great for fly fishing too.
Related: 21 Best Fly Fishing Waders
The same polarized performance that help outfielders track fly balls is what will help you fly fish.
Compared to the top brands in the sunglasses space — Simms, Maui Jim, Costa Del Mar — Under Armour isn’t made with the same quality components. The frames always feel a little more flimsy to me, but they’re also incredibly light. Usually the difference in material quality is reflected in the price tag.
When you’re out in the water you get hit with the sun’s rays from every direction, and the wrap style of these Rival sunglasses does a great job combating that.
If you want a good pair of polarized sunglasses for a good price, go with the Under Armour Rival.
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Bottom Line: An awesome looking pair of sunglasses, the Oakley Double Edge sunglasses have a matte black exterior with wide-view Prizm lenses that make colors pop just as much as they stylistically pop.Read more about the Oakley Double Edge
I’ve said it before and I promise I won’t say it again — I love the matte black look. Combine that with the contrast of Oakley’s iridium lenses, and there’s just no denying these aren’t a great looking pair of sunglasses.
Unless you disagree, in which case I hate ’em too!
The shape of these Oakley Prizm lenses — which are designed to maximize contrast — gives you an expanded field of view, which is crucial in a pair of fly fishing sunglasses. You won’t have any issues with white caps in fast moving streams, and they’ll knock down the glare in flat, reflective ponds and lakes.
These Oakley Double Edge sunglasses are a little more premium than the Under Armour Rival sunglasses above but aren’t quite in the Simms, Maui Jim, or Costa Del Mar tier, squarely landing them in the middle and a great compromise of cost and quality.
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Bottom Line: The best fly fishing sunglasses on this list in terms of quality, RCI Optics’ Monster Hole 2.0 polarized sunglasses are better than both the Under Armour and Oakley offerings above but usually come with a heftier price tag.Read more about the RCI Optics Monster Hole 2.0
The only pair of RCI Optics sunglasses on our list of the best polarized fishing sunglasses, these Monster Hole 2.0 sunglasses are an amber on amber pair that were designed to be your go-to fly fishing sunglasses.
Constructed of a Ballista 2.0 composite frame that beats out the plastic frames both Under Armour and Oakley, these sunglasses are a step up in build quality. Their frame material is actually military ballistics rated and the result of RCI Optics’ 18 months of research and development.
Do I believe all of that stuff? Eh, sort of. Take it all with a grain of salt because these companies all want to market their products as the latest and greatest, but I can vouch for RCI Optics making some quality stuff.
And something else I really like about these RCI Optics sunglasses: They’re designed for fishermen. Let me put it in RCI Optics’ words:
Sunglasses designed for the elite watermen and outdoor enthusiast[s] of the world.
Best Deep Sea Fishing Sunglasses[amazon fields=”B00JGAF2H6″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_class=”aligncenter img-margin-top”]
Bottom Line: Made from neutral gray MauiPure lenses, the Maui Jim Twin Falls “offers the highest available light reduction for the richest colors and sharpest contrast” of any pair of Maui Jims. (Those are their words, not mine!)Read more about the Maui Jim Twin Falls
You won’t find a better combination of quality, durability, and light-blocking power on any of the other sunglasses listed. These truly are the best deep sea fishing sunglasses. If you didn’t see the graphic on MauiPure lenses above, let’s take a look at it one more time.
Everything you want without the weight. These are just an awesome pair of sunglasses.
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Bottom Line: Incredibly lightweight with the iconic Oakley Half Jacket design, these are Oakley’s best bright light polarized sunglasses with a no-slip grip around the ear to keep them in place in high-sweat conditions.Read more about the Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL
One of the most iconic Oakley designs, these Half Jacket 2.0 XL polarized sunglasses are designed for bright light performance and weigh even less than the Maui Jim Twin Falls sunglasses above.
The calling card of these Half Jacket sunglasses is the floating lens feature, which actually makes the lenses interchangeable if you want to swap them out for, say, the iridium lenses. The straight-armed frames also have a rubberized grip, which help the sunglasses remain in place even when you sweat. That makes these sunglasses great for hot summer days out on the water.
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Bottom Line: From the tough 580G lenses to the heavy duty nylon frames, these Costa Del Mar Cortez sunglasses are designed for the harsh conditions of the open ocean and are backed by Costa’s lifetime warranty.Read more about the Costa Del Mar Cortez
With a unisex design and blue mirrored frames, these Costa Del Mar Cortez sunglasses are great for anyone looking for superior reflection in bright off-shore conditions. Made with 580G glass lenses, these polarized lenses are more scratch resistant than the 580P polycarbonate alternative, which I find helpful in salty ocean conditions.
The frame is made from heavy duty nylon, which gives these sunglasses a little more heft but a lot more durability. Combined with the 580G lenses, these are going to be heavier than many of the other sunglasses on this list. But that’s probably what you’re looking for in this category.
But should anything happen to these sunglasses — which is doubtful given how well they’re constructed — Costa Del Mar backs them up with a lifetime warranty.
Best Cheap Sunglasses[amazon fields=”B00MHG4PBK” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_class=”aligncenter img-margin-top”]
Bottom Line: The best polarized fishing sunglasses for the money, the Flying Fisherman Buchanan sunglasses provide UVA and UVB protection with a stylish design but don’t offer much durability. However, you can buy around 10 pairs of these for the price of the best polarized fishing sunglasses, like Simms or Costa Del Mar, so some cheap sunglasses might be perfect for you if you lose your things constantly (like I do).Read more about the Flying Fisherman Buchanan
Do the Flying Fisherman Buchanan sunglasses have the best polarized performance? No.
Do the Flying Fisherman Buchanan sunglasses have the best scratch resistance? No.
Do the Flying Fisherman Buchanan sunglasses barely hit your wallet? Yup.
With lenses made from 6 layers of protective material, these sunglasses provide decent polarization for a fraction of the price of the name brands mentioned elsewhere in this list. The price you pay for that is durability, or lack thereof — they scratch incredibly easily. A case is a total must or they’ll be banged up from Day 1.
Just know their limitations:
- They’ll wither under heavy use.
- They’ll scratch if not protected.
- They don’t work in very bright conditions.
But if you just want the best cheap sunglasses to provide a little protection while doing some on-shore fishing along a stream, the Flying Fisherman Buchanan sunglasses are just about the best polarized fishing sunglasses for the money.
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Bottom Line: The first (and only) camo sunglasses on our list, these Jiangtun Sport polarized sunglasses don’t carry any name brand cachet, but they do offer bargain polarization with that always-in-style camouflage design.Read more about the Jiangtun Sport
Like all cheap polarized sunglasses, these have almost zero durability. They’ll scratch easily and won’t stand up to heavy use. However, these Jiangtun Sport sunglasses do come with a matching camo protective case.
These sunglasses have a pretty snug fit. Besides that, they’re sort of a “what you see is what you get” item. You can even throw in a “you get what you pay for” if you’d like. But that’s the case with all of these cheap polarized sunglasses.
Some reviewers went so far as to say the case was better than the sunglasses themselves, which is pretty hilarious even if it isn’t true (which it probably is).
But what do you expect when you should for a pair of Made in China sunglasses that sell for 10% of what a quality pair sells for?
That’s not a knock on you or anyone who owns these — I recently had a pair of daily wearers that I bought for $12 at Ross Dress for Less, so who am I to judge? — it’s just a statement of fact.
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Bottom Line: With MADE IN USA proudly displayed on their Amazon product page, these Filthy Angler Shawsheen sunglasses differentiate themselves by (a) having an awesome name and (b) being made in the good ol’ U.S. of A. They don’t fit as snugly as the two pairs above, which is nice for those with a wider face, and the polarization is great for the price point, but the frames leave something to be desired.Read more about the Filthy Anglers Shawsheen
Durability is always a concern in the bargain price point, and these Made in USA sunglasses both hit and miss in that regard:
- The polarized lenses work well and are more scratch resistant than the others in this category, but
- The frames feel like plastic junk.
They’re a bit wider than the Flying Fisherman and Jiangtun Sport sunglasses reviewed here, which is ideal for those with wider heads/faces, but one particularly large-headed reviewer noted that the bottom of the frames around the ears is a little sharp and was very uncomfortable.
Are these the best cheap sunglasses? Well, they’re on the list. Personally I prefer the Flying Fisherman sunglasses to these as I think the frames are more comfortable and durable, but “best” is unique to each person. If you prefer the comfort of the wide-set frames, then these are probably the best polarized fishing sunglasses for the money.
Best Fishing Sunglasses by Brand
Best polarized fishing sunglasses for men. Best polarized fishing sunglasses for women. Forget about it! Some of us are just brand loyalists. I mean, why not? If you have something that’s worked for years, why abandon that and go with something else?
These are the best fishing sunglasses for 3 of the major brands:
- Costa Del Mar
- Maui Jim
If you’re a brand loyalist and don’t see your preferred pair listed, comment on this article so we know we messed up!
Best Costa Fishing Sunglasses[amazon fields=”B00SBY2140″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_class=”aligncenter img-margin-top”]
Bottom Line: The widest Costa Del Mar sunglasses featured here, the 64mm Costa Del Mar Saltbreak deliver the same level of Costa performance and durability in a large fit design that’ll fit just about everyone.Read more about the Costa Del Mar Saltbreak
With a large 64mm fit, these sunglasses are incredibly comfortable for even those with wider-set faces. They come prescription ready and are made from either 580G or 580P lenses, which offer either supreme durability (580G glass) or incredibly light weight (580P polycardbonate).
The noses have a rubber accent, which I love for comfort, but some people prefer a rubber-less frame for fewer “parts” that could potentially go wrong. The frames are made from a durable, flexible nylon material that will stand the test of time.
What makes these the best Costa fishing sunglasses over the two models listed below? For me, it’s the 64mm wide lenses that beat out the other two models. I like full-face coverage, but if you want something a little less wide, then keep scrolling.
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Bottom Line: In Spanish the “ito” suffix means “little,” and that’s what these sunglasses are — at least, compared to the other two Costa models featured here. With a 59mm lens width and a proclaimed “medium fit,” these Costa Del Mar Caballito sunglasses are designed for people either with smaller faces or who prefer a snugger fit.Read more about the Costa Del Mar Caballito
Everything that was said about Costa’s construction in the section on the Saltbreak sunglasses can also be said for the Caballito sunglasses.
- 580G or 580P lenses
- Comfortable rubber nose pad
- Durable, flexible nylon frame
Go with these if you want something a little smaller while still maintaining Costa quality.
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Bottom Line: With 61.5mm lenses that with squarely in between the Saltbreak and Caballito, these Costa Del Mar Blackfin sunglasses are designed with a large fit in mind and are sturdier for more off-short activities.Read more about the Costa Del Mar Blackfin
You can swap out the lenses on all of these Costa sunglasses to go from blue mirror to amber or silver mirror, which effectively makes any pair of sunglasses either on-shore or off-shore, but these Costa Del Mar Blackfin sunglasses truly feel like “fishing sunglasses” to me.
The frames around the outside edges of the lenses, all the way back through the arms, have a thicker construction that gives them more rugged durability. If you’re fly fishing in a stream you probably don’t need that extra heft, but if you’re out in the open ocean doing some marlin fishing then you’ll be happy it’s there.
As I say in every section, the best Costa sunglasses for you truly depends on what you want to do. I don’t always want that extra bulk in my on-shore fishing endeavors or with my daily wearers, but if you prefer that heft then these are the best Costa fishing sunglasses you’ll find.
Best Oakley Fishing Sunglasses[amazon fields=”B0076O5DMS” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_class=”aligncenter img-margin-top”]
Bottom Line: Armed with Oakley’s calling cards — bottom-less frames around the lenses and the straight-framed no-slip grip around the ears — the Oakley Bottle Rocket sunglasses are a little less obnoxious (is that the right word?) than some Oakley models but still deliver expected Oakley performance.Read more about the Oakley Bottle Rocket
These black iridium polarized lenses are “neutral contrast” using Oakley’s scale. (Some are higher contrast, like the Oakley Double Edge sunglasses in the “Best Sunglasses for Fly Fishing” section above.) They also come with Oakley’s calling card bottom-less frame design around the lenses and no-slip grip around the ears.
However, the lenses are rounded around the bottom instead of having that cheek or dimple hugging curve like the Oakley Half Jackets. This bottom-less design makes the lenses interchangeable, which is great for easy repairs or if you want to swap them out for something in the high contrast range.
Oakley is a hit or miss brand, but if you like the Oakley look then you’ll love the Oakley Bottle Rocket sunglasses.
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Bottom Line: A less sporty and more casual looking pair of sunglasses, these Oakley Crankshaft sunglasses break from Oakley’s typical design with a thicker lens that I think makes them great for anglers who want a quality pair without paying through the nose.Read more about the Oakley Crankshaft
Whereas the Bottle Rocket sunglasses look a little more like golf or recreational sunglasses, these Crankshaft sunglasses definitely have the fishing look. The frames are thicker and totally circumvent the lenses, and the lenses themselves are the typical Oakley design that deflects UVA, UVB, and UVC rays while providing the same neutral contrast as the Bottle Rockets above.
Oakley markets these as being their “street-wise” lenses — meaning more hip and less sporty — and I definitely agree they play that part. But I also think they’re an ideal build for fishing. However, due to their neutral contrast lenses I’d say they’re better suited for medium light fishing and not mid-day off-shore fishing.
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Bottom Line: Coming in at a lower price point, these Oakley Fives Squared sunglasses feature a tapered design with frames that don’t bow out as much around the temples. They also have lenses that don’t filter out quite as much light. Overall, they’re intended for people who prefer the sleeker look or who want the Oakley experience for less.Read more about the Oakley Fives Squared
Generally in a lower priced tier than any of the Oakley sunglasses reviewed thus far, these Fives Squared sunglasses are much more simplistic. With 16% light transmission that’s a little higher than the 11% transmission on the Bottle Rocket and Crankshaft models listed here, these Fives Squared sunglasses aren’t quite as good at filtering light and thus are a step down in performance in medium and bright light conditions.
But lens quality aside, there’s another design change that makes the Fives Squared notable: They don’t angle out as much on the sides. The frames have a more straight-back, tapered design that hugs the face more than the other models above, especially the Crankshaft. This makes them ideal for people with narrower faces.
If you value that tapered design or the lower price point, take a look at the Oakley Fives Squared.
Best Maui Jim Fishing Sunglasses[amazon fields=”B002FU6T8K” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_class=”aligncenter img-margin-top”]
Bottom Line: These Maui Jim Stingray sunglasses are made with SuperThin glass lenses, which are 20% to 32% thinner than standard glass and have Maui Jim’s best clarity and scratch resistance with an ultra light weight.Read more about the Maui Jim Stingray
Whereas some Maui Jim sunglasses are made with MauiPure lenses, these Maui Jim Stingray sunglasses are made with Maui Jim SuperThin glass. Compare the two lens types below:
What are the differences?
- MauiPure lenses are heavier but offer better shatter resistance.
- SuperThin lenses are much lighter and have better clarity but aren’t as shatterproof.
The best lens for you depends on what your intended usage is. If you want something that’s lighter and sharper, go with these Maui Jim Stingray sunglasses (or any of the best Maui Jim fishing sunglasses here as the other two pairs below are also made with SuperThin lenses).
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Bottom Line: Also made with SuperThin glass like the Stingray above, the Maui Jim Spartan Reef sunglasses live up to their name: Extremely tough and great for open ocean use.Read more about the Maui Jim Spartan Reef
Spartan Reef is a pretty awesome name for a pair of sunglasses. I mean, can’t you see yourself putting them on, setting sail for the horizon, and then reeling in a huge marlin off a steep ocean cliff? I can.
With a slight wrap design and a big (but not bulky) frame, these sunglasses are intended for durable, long-lasting wear. The SuperThin glass is much lighter than other lenses, which helps prevent these sunglasses from being too heavy with their sturdy frames, and is incredibly scratch resistant in the salty open ocean environment.
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Bottom Line: Despite their comical name, the Maui Jim Wassup sunglasses offer performance that no one will laugh at. The lens shape is taller and boxier than the Stingray but still has a slight wrap design for casual, full-face coverage. Oh, and they too are made with the Maui Jim SuperThin glass.Read more about the Maui Jim Wassup
SuperThin after SuperThin after SuperThin. Don’t get me wrong — I like the MauiPure lenses — but the SuperThin lenses have better clarity, better scratch resistance, and a lighter weight. You sacrifice some of the shatter resistance, but in my book that’s the least important of the 4 traits Maui Jim rates.
With these Wassup sunglasses you get a relaxing daily wearer that protects your face completely. They can fit a big snug on people with large or extra large faces, but they’re absolutely going to deliver stellar performance and best-in-class clarity.
While these are our 24 best rated polarized sunglasses, we understand that everyone has different tastes! What do you think are the best polarized fishing sunglasses? Do you have a preferred pair for on-shore or off-shore fishing? Comment below with what you are wearing!