When choosing polarized fishing glasses, protection and seeing well are top priorities. Comfort and fit are also important since they're crucial in whether or not a person wears sunglasses — or any eyewear — consistently.
Many people might be surprised that fishing is a Dangerous Sport, especially for the eyes. In fact, eye injuries from fishing make up over 9% of sport-related eye injuries seen by doctors. These injuries mainly come from hooks, sinkers, and lures.
Protection from the harmful rays of the sun is also essential. The sun has a double UV impact on the eyes when it reflects off water, so fishing sunglasses must fully protect against UV rays.
Being able to see is obviously crucial for fishing. However, varying conditions are one of the biggest challenges in this sport. Lens tints can make or break a fisherman's ability to see fish below the water's surface.
Fishing Lens Tints
Many people struggle with How to Choose the Best Lens Tint, and that's undoubtedly true regarding fishing sunglasses. Fishing pro, Mike Iaconelli, gives two rules to help choose the best lens tint.
On a bright and sunny day, use a gray/smoke tint. In low light conditions (cloudy, rainy, dawn & dusk), wear an amber/yellow tint.
Another pro, Hank Parker, recommends changing lens color based on time of day and conditions. This means having multiple lenses available to switch out as necessary.
If you take Parker's approach of having multiple tints available, whether with interchangeable lenses or by having multiple pairs of sunglasses, knowing the strengths of a few different tints is helpful.
Gray lenses are a great all-purpose lens when conditions are primarily sunny and bright.
Yellow/amber/orange colored lenses work well on cloudy days but will be too weak in sunny conditions.
Brown lenses work well for medium to bright conditions.
Copper lenses are another all-purpose lens tint, but they work best on cloudy or overcast days or for anglers who like to sight fish.
Also, consider a mirrored coating since it helps reduce glare by reflecting light away from the eyes. In addition, a mirrored coating is excellent when in the sun for long periods because it helps reduce eye strain.
Comfort & Fit
The main reason people don't wear safety eyewear or sunglasses is lack of comfort. But, at the same time, improper fit often leads to eye injury and strain.
A good fit lets in minimal light around the edges. It also keeps dust and debris from sneaking in the sides/top/bottom. Wrap-around sunglasses are the best option for accomplishing all of these.
In addition, soft rubber nose bridges provide additional comfort and help keep eyewear in place. Also, consider a lanyard when you need to take glasses off but want to keep them nearby. You can put them on top of your head or beside you, but there's a greater chance of losing or damaging your sunglasses.
How do you know if your sunglasses have the best comfort and fit? Start by trying them on to see how you feel. After wearing them for a while…
“Your glasses should fit so well that you forget they are there.”
The sun glaring off the water makes vision difficult and even uncomfortable. This happens when the light reflected by water aligns, or polarizes, horizontally instead of vertically. The concentrations are usually quite high too. Polarized lenses block this horizontal light, sort of like "a microscopic set of blinds." (Choosing Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing)
Polarized sunglasses will increase comfort and decrease eye fatigue, leaving vision clear and allowing anglers to see fish better.
“Polarized sunglasses will enable you to catch more fish — plain and simple.”
Not only can a fisherman see fish in the water better with polarized sunglasses, but he can also spot logs and vegetation and better identify depth changes and drop-offs.
Lots of Choices
Fortunately, there are a lot of great choices for polarized fishing eyewear. Let's look at five that are not only best-sellers at Safety Glasses USA but also meet fisherman's three primary needs for eyewear… safety, sight, and comfort.
- Kleenguard Nemesis Polarized Safety Glasses — Sleek and sporty, these comfortable sunglasses are ideal for conditions requiring extreme clarity and deep color contrast.
- Crossfire ES5 Bifocals Polarized Smoke Lens — For those who need a little help seeing up close for tying a knot or baiting a hook.
- Bolle Hustler — Sleek modern styling and hi-tech function. Anti-fog coating keeps your vision clear. Includes soft pouch and neck cord.
- Bullhead Polarized Eyewear — Several lightweight frame styles with 100% visual acuity lenses. Lots of lens tints as well as photochromic lens options.
- Edge Dawson — Another great safety eyewear option with polarized lenses.
The above options not only give a lot of styles to choose from, but they also provide many affordable choices. These top-sellers fall within the $11-$54 price range.