My Top 3 Favorite Sunglasses (For Serious Inshore Saltwater Anglers)
It’s inshore saltwater fishing sunglasses time!
Many anglers ask us, “What are the best sunglasses for inshore fishing?”
The answer, just like someone the answer to the best spinning reel, depends on the application.
However, after trying out (and personally buying) over 24 different pairs of polarized fishing sunglasses, I can say that there are 3 pairs of glasses that I would pick over all of the rest.
The main criteria I use are as follows:
- Best lens/filters
- Most face coverage (to eliminate as much light/glare coming in from the sides or bottom so I can see fish better)
- Best quality (in terms of parts, glass, filters, technology, etc)
- Best overall fit (especially after wearing a pair of glasses for 8 hours on the boat because a poor-fitting pair will not only slip off your nose every minute but it can even give you a headache)
- Best overall look (let’s face it, we all want to look good)
As of today, here are my 3 favorite sunglasses for inshore fishing.
Best & Worst Sunglasses For Fishing [VIDEO]
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Click here to get the Smith Optics Guide’s Choice
Click here to get the new Oakley Split Shot Glasses
Click here to get the Oakley Holbrooks
Where To Get These Fishing Sunglasses
Here at Salt Strong, we only stock items we personally vet, test, and use ourselves (unlike most tackle stores that stock all kinds of things that don’t work)…
Since both the SMITH and OAKLEY sunglasses passed our test both on and off the water test, they’re now available at our online tackle shop.
But a quick warning: we didn’t order too many, so they could sell out quickly.
Order your Smith sunglasses here
STOP WASTING TIME ON THE WATER!
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I watched several the reviews and decided in the Smith Guide’s Choice Bifocals Sunglasses, in Cooper. I needed the bifocals to see know tying and my fish finder, and ironically, they are currently $100 less then the ones that are non-bifocal. Can’t beat that! Thx
Are sunglasses gone for good from the the store or will they be back?
Can I buy Oakley Rx from u with the insider discount?? Also any thoughts on Riley X sunglasses??
The best polarized glasses I have ever used were Australian Spotters from the early 2000s. The 3 pair I have owned since my first pair, have progressively gone down hill with respect to polarization… but they are still good. JK
I compared Costas with Breakline. No comparison. Breakline outperformed Costas and would like to see your take on Breakline vs the others. It was like comparing a slightly fuzzy TV with a TV that just jumps out to you.
Joe Simons, or anyone else who has tried both Smith Guides Choice and Oakley Split Shot.
Trying to choose. On me they both fit great, the Oakleys are definitely lighter and may be more comfortable for long hours of wear. My kids and wife tell me the Guides Choice look better. The big question is whether one actually performs optically better on the water.
Hey Brian! You truly can’t go wrong with either. If money was no option and I had to pick one for performance, I’d go with Oakley Split Shot. But I still wear my Smith Guide’s Choice a lot as well.
Thanks for weighing in Joe! I was leaning Split shot based on how great they feel when wearing.
Thanks Joe. I just got off the Oakley website and while I have a few questions for them related to options, I’ll be ordering my pair of Rx Slip Shots in the morning.
Just a follow up, after spending some time going back and forth with the Oakley support person… I no longer understand anything about their coatings and also it seems we are better off just accepting what is on the website and not bothering with their customer support. I went there asking about the Split Shot sunglasses in the Grey Cammo which is offered on the non-Rx side. I also wanted the Prizm Shallow Water Rx lenses that are green and copper. They reported back with the options that are available on the website and told me the option I was looking for was the HDO lenses they offered. I got a little confused because when I went to select that option, these seemed to be in a different price tier from the Prizm lenses. I asked about it and in response I got this:
“Oakley HDO provides the wearer the ultimate optical experience and protection all in one. With HDO the wearer will experience:
The best optics with clearer, sharper vision and without distortion or haze that leads to eye strain, discomfort and headaches.
Unrivaled impact protection to enjoy an active lifestyle.
100% UV Protection to stay out longer and reduce the threat of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and cancer of the eye.”
They also informed me that the cammo options are not available for Rx. Only what they have in the Rx selection area of the website. Since I got hung up on the lens coatings with them, I didn’t see the point in discussing why Split Shot frames in one color can be accommodated with Rx lenses but other colors couldn’t be. From that reply above, it seems they are telling me that HDO is their best optics but from what I can figure out that is not the same as Prizm and is an older technology they used… I think but don’t know this for sure. I say all of this because they seem to do their best to hide the details about these. I’m not willing to spend thousands of dollars like Joe to find the perfect pair of sunglasses and after having a pair of Oakley’s with third-party lenses that distort my vision more than improve it… I’ve decide to go back to the eye doctor for a contact lens fitting and will pick up a couple of boxes of daily wear contacts and get the Smith glasses without an Rx.
Just a side note here too: I’m sort of difficult with vendors. If they don’t answer my questions and give me a bunch of non-sense like this, I call them out and start complaining because I’m tired of all the marketing hype and misinformation they give us. Your experience may be different from mine but for now, I’m sort of done with Oakley, even after they gave me a 30% off coupon (just a little tip, seems that the support team hands out these 30% coupons all the time so start asking lots of questions and you might save enough to justify getting a Toadfish Spatula). My only reason for going this far with them is because Joe gave them pretty high marks but also it was mentioned that customer service isn’t always their best trait (or maybe that was Costa… I’m grouping these guys together now). So I’ll pick up a pair of the Smith Guide’s Choice and probably be very happy with them. I’ll stay away from Luxottica’s brands (Oakley’s parent company) for now because I just don’t see any value. Maybe I’ll reconsider and use that coupon but they certainly have left me feeling confused and irritated (but again, that’s pretty easy to do with me).
A note about Smith: when I reached out to Smith, they also gave me some strange feedback that I questioned but they quickly explained and were able to help me understand my options instead of jerking me around with copied marketing text. I think this is just the difference of dealing with a large conglomerate vs a smaller customer-centric company.
But these are just my opinions and I’m NOT an expert in this area. I’m very new to using sunglasses but it seems a requirement for fishing so I’m just trying to make the most informed decision I can and support the companies that help me in my task instead of hindering me.
Clean water beach or flats, which color lens and which glasses?
Beach fishing for snook and just couldn’t see that well with my Amber lenses.
If you are sight fishing under low light (early morning/late evening), amber works great.
Flats, and sight fishing – greens
Just throwing lures blindly and want to be comfortable, grey’s (I use grey’s driving, offshore, or wade fishing).
Thank you Joe!!
I am not a sun glasses addict like you are, but I do have a hard learned rule related to sunglasses that has served me well over the years of world travels and some fishing trips. After a few trips in which I lost or broke my sunglasses and was left squinting to see anything, I developed this rule: “Always travel with three (3) pairs of sunglasses; 1 to break, 1 to lose, and 1 to wear”