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

Order your Oakley sunglasses here

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Stu O
9 minutes ago

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”

Robert Stevens
14 hours ago

Hey Joe, which color lens of the Oakly Split Shots would you or your brother Luke recommend for the clear shallow water fishing in Ozello?

I’ll want to order a pair from you guys with the right lens.

I went to Bass Pro in Gainesville yesterday to try them on…..NICE!

John James Thomas
1 day ago

I bought three pair of SMITH OPTICS, Captains Choice ChromaPop Polarized Copper Lens. I got one pair this morning sending them back in the morning. Should the other two pair be as bad I will send them back. I also ordered the Oakley because you talked them all up as being great fishing glasses. I watched your tape twice. We will see.

Robert Glenn Phillips
1 day ago

25 pairs Joe ?. Perhaps we need an intervention for you, and a special edition of Hoarders. On a serious note, do you know what they charge to put prescriptions on the lenses ?.

Douglas Edwards
4 days ago

What color lens were you wearing on the Holbrooks and Split Shot?

4 days ago

Do you have to be a member to order sunglasses? I can’t seem to make it work.

Keith Carr
4 days ago

Can yall order prescription lenses from Oakley and still have the discount? Since broaching the 60 YO mark, unfortunately bi-focals are really helpful, and of course the prescription. May just be better to get prescription lenses at the local optometrist? Interested in the slit shot glasses.

Dave Hair
3 days ago
Reply to  Keith Carr

I asked the same question and unfortunately was told they do not support prescription sales through Salt Strong. I did still buy the Smith Guides choice with green coating for inshore. 20% discount was good price. I bought the Chroma Pop glass lens for scratch resistance even though poly carbonate are lighter. They sometimes slide down a bit on my nose.

Last edited 3 days ago by Dave Hair
Jim Bengala
5 days ago

Great Job — as usual — I buy the Costa “Tuna Alley” — “C-mates” — which means they have the “bi-focals” built in the sun glasses — which really helps — especially when tying knots , etc — Thanks again for all the “good info”


5 days ago

What happened to Wiley X ? Not worth the comparison?

Mark Jenkin
6 days ago

Have you tried Native sunglasses? I’ve used them for years and they are my favorite brand. They also come with a $30 replacement if they ever break. My current style is the Hardtop XP. Check them out if you haven’t already.

Roger Kiger
6 days ago

Nice job discussing the sunglasses. I’ve been a cyclist for years and finally ended up with Smith for the same reasons you discussed. You da man!

Dave Hawkins
6 days ago

Can you get either of the Oakley’s in a prescription

Thomas Campbell
6 days ago

I ordered the smiths with the amber lenses off the saltstrong shop. Straight up game changer! And they are great for driving to! Completely cut all glare out. Would 10000% recommend

Ronald Sanders
6 days ago

Good suggestions on the sunglasses. Did notice nothing was said about persona who wear glasses and need sunglasses to wear over the glasses they have to wear all the time.

Stu Young
6 days ago
Reply to  Ronald Sanders

Shady Rays my friend, if you want affordable prescription polarized sunglasses. I don’t work for them, however I use them non-stop on my boat, at the beach, driving….everything outdoors. They have a great lost/broken replacement policy. I keep extra non-prescription pairs in my car & boat for guests that forgot their sunglasses or need polarized (their non-prescription are crazy inexpensive).

David Hertzler
6 days ago

I too wish someone other than Costa made quality sunglasses with reader lenses. Like everyone else seems to say, the Costas are fine but because I need the reader lenses to tie knots or even see the smaller details on my plotter, they are the only game in town.

Rod Jorgensen
6 days ago

What’s your suggestion for over the glasses sunglasses for those of us with regular glasses? Even though mine darken and are supposed to be polarized, they just don’t do the job as regular polarized sunglasses. I need my regular glasses for the up close work (i,e. tying knots, removing hooks from those places hooks should not go, but they do anyway)

Kyle Trapp
6 days ago

Are any of them better at not fogging up than the other? The one issue I have with my Costa’s is that they fog terribly during the heat of the day. If not do you guys use anything that keeps yours from fogging up. I think I have tried most everything at this point.

Thom Ray
6 days ago

The ultimate male sunglass model 🤣

Mike Greene
6 days ago

Do y’all have the split shot in sock now?

Mike Greene
5 days ago
Reply to  Joseph Simonds

When I looked yesterday and today the only button available is notify me when available?

Grady Beeson
6 days ago

Do you have any with readers. I see the Oakley site has them with reader scripts available.

Jonathan Getz
6 days ago

Great video Joe! I’ve heard that amber lenses with green mirror are best for Texas upper coast waters. However, it doesn’t say on the shop page exactly what the lense color is on the mirror options? Could y’all clarify that?

BTW, can you sell me that Fuego you have on the desk? LOL waiting for these to be back in stock.

Isaac Lee
6 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Getz

I agree, it’s hard to tell what type of lenses there are on the shop page.

Roland Courtois
6 days ago

Joe, as an Insider I would love to buy the Smith Optics glasses, but having them shipped to Canada is not possible in the Salt Strong system. Can you fix this ?

Shane Wilson
6 days ago

Great video and this is the power of Salt Strong…unbiased reviews. I currently fish Costa but have owned many other brands in years past. Fish eyes make a relatively affordable pair of glasses with magnifiers inserted. These magnifiers are not tinted and this helps us older gents when tying knots in low light conditions. They are not very attractive but are very efficient and seem to fill a void for older anglers. Amber lens are my go to choice for shallow water wades.

Bob Hartwein
6 days ago

Do you take trade ins? 😉 Im always looking for bifocals/readers so I can tie that knot! 😉 I am going to check those sunglasses out & thanks Joe for your input!

Tim Fagan
6 days ago

Thanks Joe, great info!
For the Oakley Split Shot, which lens do you recommend for fish visibility in South Florida inshore fishing? (From skinny water/flats sight fishing to a bit deeper during tarpon season.)
I am leaning toward Prism Shallow Water Polarized, but I think you mentioned you use the Prism Deep Water Polarized?
BTW, you guys are excellent, I’m joining the insider club. Cheers.

6 days ago

Thanks Joe!
Luke- weigh in. If you could only have one pair for inshore fishing what would they be. Please include specifics for lenses. (Color, material, etc..)

6 days ago
Reply to  Dan

I was a die-hard Costa fan for many years. That changed when I started wearing Smith glasses and found that the Guide’s Choice frame fit so well to my face blocking out more light than any other frame I used previously. My vote my change after testing other brands/frames, but for now my vote is for Smith’s Guides Choice green mirror glass lens for fishing (and Guide’s Choice copper without mirror for everyday use around town).

Jean Long-Thomason
6 days ago

Hey Joe, how about us old women who have to wear regular glasses just to see the hook. Does anyone make over glasses that are not huge and ugly?

Teresa Gilleland
5 days ago

Maui makes beautiful glasses and you can get them with readers built in.

Robert Holloway
6 days ago

I have the Smith’s in two pairs. Both are copper/amber colorized and one pair has cheater lenses great for knot tying o0r while driving to see clearly gauges and gps. Love them both.

Robert Whitford
6 days ago

Do you know of any glasses that can be used over prescription glasses?
I have a pair of wrap around glasses that I use. But they do not help much to see in the water.

Tom Annunziata
6 days ago

I’d also like to know if they go over prescription glasses

Loren Yeager
6 days ago

Has anyone tried Oakley’s Prizm Maritime lenses yet (vs. their Prizm Shallow and Prizm Deep lenses)? Oakley is calling their Prizm Maritime lenses their “Go anywhere, do anything” eyewear.

Randal Jones
6 days ago

Hey Joe, great info and my goodness you are right on track from my own experiences.
I had the Costas and they were okay. Like you say not really any complaints. I got the opportunity a few years ago to try out the Oakley Prizms (they also wrap around preventing light intrusion) blue and wow what a difference. The filtering is unbelievable and here is what I discovered. Oakley polarized any color for driving are great but I happened to have them on when I drove through a rain storm. Big time enhances your driving visibility in the rain, so much that I was taking them on and off (at a stoplight) in an absolute “gully washer ” in disbelief. I wear the blue lenses for golf and driving basically every day and the amber for my back bay fishing. All this stemmed a few years ago when during a routine check-up my Dr, suggested (actually insisted) that being retired and fishing and golfing all the time here in SW Fla I should wear a quality pair of UV busting sunglasses as much as possible while outside and especially while on the water. Now that you have the split shots I know where my next pair of glasses are coming from. Thanks for the research info and keep up the great job. Oh yeah, just be sure to use the included Oakly cloth/bag to clean them when you need to. Thanks again.

6 days ago

All my glasses have that amber lens. I really don’t like glasses with reflective lenses like “Smoky and the Bandit”.

Ridge Kaiser
6 days ago

Joe, a little more info for prescription wearers. It is difficult to find true wrap around sunglasses for prescription wearers, ESPECIALLY if you want prescription and progressive reading (i.e. knot tying) lenses. You can do that with the Oakley Split Shots, while with most other brands the wrap around prescription with progressive reading lense options are very limited and not true wrap around. I love my Split Shots.

Nicholas Ballengee
6 days ago

Great info on the glasses. What is your return policy if the glasses do not fit correctly? I have a fairly large head and I would like to have the ability to return if they look to small on my face.

Cleve Carpenter
6 days ago

Hey Joe,
Have you heard anything about fit over sunglasses for visually impaired like me that can’t wear regular sunglasses. I have to go with fit over polarized sunglasses for my inshore fishing. I have a pair of Coccons and they are ok for an inexpensive fit over. But the lenses are not very good. I had to send then back because the coating was coming off. Any suggestions on this?

Guy Tingos
6 days ago

I wear eyeglasses and have been using Cocoons fit-overs for years with no issues. They offer many frame sizes and lens colors. They are not cheap and are well worth the cost. I use the amber lens for driving, surf fishing, and fly fishing for trout. I am never without them.

John Thomas
6 days ago

I invested in a $5.00 croakie with a cork on it. Saved my glasses many times when they landed in the water…very easy to fish out.

6 days ago

Hey Joe! Good information. I’m a prior Costa guy but have had a number of issues with the glasses would not buy another pair. Anyway, just curious to know if I supply my prescription can you order through the site?

Chuck Nichols
6 days ago

What about readers for us old guys? Costa made a nice selection of readers but have now limited them to only a few styles. Readers are a critical part of my tackle. Great video … thanks!

Last edited 6 days ago by Charles Nichols
Justin Ward
7 days ago

Love this post, Joe. I’m a long time Costa wearer (honestly, because I’m a sucker for their marketing). I do think they were pretty solid when they were Florida owned and operated but I’ve noticed a huge downward trend in quality over the last couple of years. I dig the Split shots. Which lenses are you using? Looks like they got a couple options.

Bob Hartwein
6 days ago
Reply to  Joseph Simonds

Joe are you using the Split Shot Blue in shallow water rather than amber?

Brad Beeson
6 days ago
Reply to  Bob Hartwein

I have the split shots in the green mirror. Awesome for the shallows.

Ernie Davis
7 days ago

Thanks Joe!

James Roach
7 days ago

Joe, good stuff, thanks. One question, do any of these companies make prescription lenses?

Steven Rackas
7 days ago
Reply to  James Roach

Exactly what I was thinking when I saw this posted….A good video showing companies that make prescription fishing glasses (bifocals as well) would be beneficial.

dean goodrich
6 days ago
Reply to  Steven Rackas

I have been a fan and wearer of Maui Jim for many years. They are able to get my prescription in a light weight polarized lens.

Joseph Carney
7 days ago

I use Wyley-X Boss Prescription sunglasses with copper lenses under $400 at FramesDirect


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