How to Choose the Right Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing


One of the most important pieces of fishing equipment every angler needs is a good pair of polarized sunglasses.

Polarized sunglasses severely reduce the amount of glare you deal with on the water and allow you to see through the water with greater clarity.

Polarized glasses are critical for sight fishing and shallow water fishing in general. Offshore, these glasses help anglers see fish they otherwise would not be able to because of the glare.

Picking out a pair of polarized sunglasses can be a daunting task. With so many brands and options, it can be overwhelming at times and you may not even know where to start when looking for your first pair.

In this article, I go over everything you need to know before you buy your first pair of polarized sunglasses, including:

  • Biggest Purchasing Mistakes
  • Glass v. Polycarbonate Lenses
  • Lens Color Options
  • Lens Curvature

If you have any questions about this article, let us know in the comments.

Biggest Purchasing Mistake: Not Trying Before Buying

One of the biggest mistakes people make when purchasing polarized sunglasses is going online and buying a pair without ever trying the sunglasses on.

These days, it’s so easy to go online, buy whatever you need and have it shipped directly to your door. It’s a convenience we all love and use.

However, this is not the best way to purchase your polarized sunglasses.

You need to see how your polarized sunglasses fit on your face and make sure that they are comfortable. These glasses are something you are going to be wearing constantly and they’re too expensive for you to be wearing a pair that doesn’t fit or that feel uncomfortable.

Go to a store in person to buy your sunglasses and make sure to try on as many different pairs as possible. This ensures you get the sunglasses that are comfortable and fit your face correctly.

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Glass Lenses vs. Polycarbonate Lenses

There are two options of lenses for polarized sunglasses: glass lenses and polycarbonate lenses.

Glass Lenses

polarized sunglasses with glass lenses

Glass Lenses are extremely popular options for polarized lenses. They give you a crisp view and a couple extra benefits that polycarbonate lenses don’t.

Glass lenses are scratch resistant and usually let you see a little bit better than the polycarbonate lenses.

Conversely, glass lenses are much weaker than polycarbonate lenses and will shatter more easily when dropped on the ground or banged against something.

Polycarbonate Lenses

polarized sunglasses with polycarbonate lenses

Polycarbonate lenses offer a great option for polarized lenses as well.

These lenses weigh less and therefore stay on your face a little bit better than the glass lenses — which are heavier and can sometimes cause your glasses to slide down your nose.

They are also more durable than glass lenses. They will hold up a little bit better if you’re the kind of person who just so happens to drop things or use your gear pretty hard.

Lens Colors: Inshore, Offshore and Neutral

Costa Del Mar Sunglasses

Not all lens colors work for all types of fishing. The color lens you buy with your polarized glasses should be determined by the type of fishing you do the majority of the time.

Check out the list below to see a breakdown of the color lenses you should use based on the type of fishing you do:

  • Green Mirror Front Lens, Amber Inside Lens – polarized glasses with these lenses are ideal for inshore and shallow water fishing. This is the best color combo for sight fishing on the flats.
  • Yellow Lenses – these lenses are a great option for lowlight conditions and overcast skies. They are a good choice for people who engage in a variety of types of fishing.
  • Grey Lenses – these are the best choice for a general all around use. You can use these glasses inshore, offshore, nearshore, golfing, playing sports and being outside in general.
  • Blue Mirror Front Lens, Grey Inside Lens – polarized sunglasses with this color combo are the best option for offshore fishing. The blue front lens matches the color of the offshore waters and cuts down on the glare that reflects off the surface.

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Lens Curvature

polarized lens curvature

How the lens fits around your eyes – aka the lens curvature – is a critical factor in determining how a pair of polarized glasses will perform for you.

You want your vision with the glasses on to be as close to your normal vision without the glasses as possible.

A lens that has too much curvature will distort your vision and mess with your perception of where objects (and fish) are.

You want the front of your lens to be flat from the top to the bottom of the lens. You want the lens to curve on the side in your peripheral vision.

A good way to test if a lens curvature is right for you is to try on the glasses and look in every direction moving only your eyes. If you notice any distortions in your vision while looking in the various directions, you know that these glasses will distort your perception as well.

How to Choose Polarized Sunglasses Video

You can get all the info you need to know for buying the right polarized sunglasses by watching the video below:

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Polarized Sunglasses in the sand

Polarized sunglasses are a necessity when it comes to pretty much any kind of fishing (we concede you don’t need these if you’re fishing at night.)

Making sure that your glasses fit correctly, have the right color lenses for the type of fishing you do and have the right lens curvature will ensure you have the best polarized sunglasses for you.

Do you have questions about your polarized sunglasses? Looking for additional advice on what to look for when purchasing polarized sunglasses?

Let us know in the comments section below!

Tight Lines!

Related Posts: 

1. Breakline Polarized Sunglasses [REVIEW]

2. Grizzly Fishing Sunglasses Review (BEWARE)

3. Under Armour “Captain” Storm Sunglasses – Independent Review

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1 year ago

any wisdom or good suggestions about polarized over the glasses sunglasses?

Ira Newman
1 year ago

many thanks for the info on buying polarized glasses tony. My question on that is I want to buy a good set of glasses to do inshore fishing as well as off shore fishing. If I buy a pair of inshore glasses, can I use these glasses for off shore as well ?

Dylan Cox
3 years ago

Awesome Thanks!

Last edited 3 years ago by Dylan Cox
Dylan Cox
3 years ago

Hey Tony, I’m active duty, and has the Guide’s Choice Chromopop+ for $140, but the closest to the green mirror with the amber inside is the Polarized Bronze Mirror that is currently in stock. I’ll be fishing Morehead City area in NC which is mostly darker murky water of less than 8ft most of the time.

What do you think? I attached a link of the webpage if you can view it.

Stephen Gregory
3 years ago

What about polarized prescription glasses? I called SamsClub and they can do it but there is no yellow or amber lens color option. Any thoughts or recommendations?? Thanks!

3 years ago

Guys, great article! Clear, concise, helps me out selecting sunglasses for fly fishing in Alaska. Thanks again! paul

Videre Eyewear
4 years ago

This is the exact information one could have to buy sunglasses according to their requirements. You can simply choose it online and find the best suitable product for you. Thanks for sharing such incredible information to all. Keep posting stuff like that.

4 years ago

Best wishes to both of you, the article is just awesome. I enjoyed and found it so useful for me ever. Thanks.

Thomas Campbell
4 years ago

Hey tony, awesome review. I didn’t realize how important polarized glassses were. I have a question. A buddy at work has a pair of costas for 40 that he’s selling but they have purple/ blue lenses? I know that’s more offshore but can I use them inshore

Jose Morales
5 years ago

I use Costa Tuna Alley with Blue 508 glass and Costa Fisch with Gray 508 glass both are prescription so not cheaply made. Both look great inshore and off shore. Can’t go wrong with either. However I will say the Blue are more of an offshore lens and deep clearer waters. Other than that, they are fantastic.


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