10 Best Fishing Sunglasses: Catch More Fish by Protecting Your Eyes

Last Updated on November 9, 2021

We independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.

According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the easiest way to prevent ultraviolet light damage is by wearing polarized sunglasses while outdoors (in our case, this means while fishing).[1]

An often overlooked and underappreciated piece of fishing gear is sunglasses. The best fishing sunglasses are polarized and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, eyestrain, wind, and allow you to see fish in the water.

We found the Costa Fantail Pro sunglasses do this the best.

In this article, we have searched far and wide for the best fishing sunglasses on the market. We compiled all of them into a quick comparison table and then go into greater detail below giving our thoughts for each pair.

Read on to catch more fish and protect your eyes while doing it!

Comparison Table – The Best Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing

ImageProductRatingPrice
Best Overall
Costa Del Mar Fantail Pro
Costa Del Mar Fantail Pro

Prescription Lenses: Available
Frame Fit: Large
Polarized: Yes

10
Check Price
Best For The Money
KastKing Skidaway
KastKing Skidaway

Prescription Lenses: N/A
Frame Fit: Medium/Large
Polarized: Yes

7.5
Check Price
Best Bass Fishing Sunglasses
Oakley Split Shot
Oakley Split Shot

Prescription Lenses: Available
Frame Fit: Medium
Polarized: Yes

9
Check Price
Best For Women
Costa Del Mar Waterwoman 2
Costa Del Mar Waterwoman 2

Prescription Lenses: Available
Frame Fit: Medium/Large
Polarized: Yes

9
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Best For Offshore Fishing
Costa Del Mar Santiago Untangled
Costa Del Mar Santiago Untangled

Prescription lenses: Available
Frame Fit: Medium
Polarized: Yes

8
Check Price
Best For Inshore Fishing
Smith Longfin Elite Sunglasses
Smith Longfin Elite Sunglasses

Prescription Lenses: N/A
Frame Fit: Medium
Polarized: Yes

8
Check Price
Multi-Purpose
Oakley Radar EV Path
Oakley Radar EV Path

Prescription Lenses: Available
Frame Fit: Medium/Large
Polarized: Yes

8
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Maui Jim MakoaMaui Jim Makoa

Prescription Lenses: Available
FrameFit: Medium
Polarized: Yes

8
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Wiley X AspectWiley X Aspect

Prescription Lenses: Available
Frame Fit: Medium/Large
Polarized: Yes

8
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Strike King SK Plus Hudson SunglassesStrike King SK Plus Hudson Sunglasses

Prescription Lenses: N/A
Frame Fit: Medium
Polarized: Yes

6
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In-Depth Reviews of Our Favorite Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

Costa Fantail Pro

Costa Fantail Pro

BEST OVERALL

Specs

  • Prescription Lenses: Available
  • Frame Fit: Large
  • Polarized: Yes

Pros

  • Trusted brand
  • A larger frame protects from wind and sun better
  • Adjustable vented nose pad
  • Sweat channels and eye wire drains

Cons

  • Price. You pay for all the fancy extras.

Why We Chose It

In short, because of the Costa name. They stand behind their quality products and always provide a solid warranty which they back 100% of the time. Costa is the best brand of fishing sunglasses, no contest.

Specifically, the Fantail Pro sunglasses are the best Costa sunglasses for fishing. Designed with the angler in mind, Costa thought about blocking the sun rays and keeping sweat out of the anglers’ eyes with their patented “sweat management” technology.

So if you’re like me and sweat a lot, you will appreciate this feature!

They are very comfortable, especially since you can adjust the nose piece to better fit your face. The side shields and hooding will keep unwanted light from reaching your eyes so that you won’t squint your entire fishing trip.

If you have a larger head, these are the frames from you. The multiple frame and lens colors to choose from means you can order the pair that best suits your needs and personality.

For instance, I primarily bass fish in lakes and ponds, so the copper-based lenses work best for me.

But if you’re offshore fishing, gray lenses with a blue mirror coating will be a better suit for you.

Oakley Split Shot Prizm Shallow Water Polarized Lenses

Oakley Split Shot

BEST BASS FISHING SUNGLASSES

Specs

  • Prescription Lenses: Available
  • Frame Fit: Medium
  • Polarized: Yes

Pros

  • Designed for men who wear hats
  • Lenses are specifically for shallow water fishing
  • Impact-resistant
  • You can create your custom sunglasses

Cons

  • Price. You pay a high price for custom sunglasses
  • Lack of warranty

Why We Chose It

Oakley is a well-known company in the sunglasses arena. They make high-quality products for several different activities.

With multiple options to choose from, Oakley Split Shot sunglasses can fit most of any angler’s needs. When the Prizm Shallow Water Polarized lenses are inserted into the Split Shot frames, they are PERFECT for bass fishing.

The Prizm Shallow Water Polarized lenses allow you to see into the water and differentiate between a fish, a stump, or a rock. I’ve been known to cast a submerged stump thinking it’s a fish… I wish I had had these lenses to prevent that!

Because the Split Shot frames are designed to be worn with a hat, this means the bill of your cap won’t be pressing down on your glasses, causing discomfort. Again, I always wear a hat when I’m out fishing so this was a solid “pro” for me.

The bass angler who enjoys the sporty look Oakley offers but still needs the practicality of bass fishing sunglasses should seriously consider the Oakley Split Shot Sunglasses. The customizability that Oakley offers means you can create the exact pair of eyewear you want.

Costa Waterwoman 2

Costa Del Mar Waterwoman 2

BEST FOR WOMEN

Specs

  • Prescription Lenses: Available
  • Frame Fit: Medium
  • Polarized: Yes

Pros

  • Designed specifically for the female face
  • Multiple frames and lens colors
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Cons

  • They slightly wrap around the face, so they allow wind and unnecessary light to reach your eyes.
  • The large lenses are heavy.

Why We Chose It

Costa thought to help female anglers by designing sunglasses that not only look good but fit the female face as well.

The Waterwoman 2 sunglasses are designed with a feminine shape to fit women’s faces much better than unisex or men’s sunglasses. They also offer their frames in different colors to be more feminine.

Instead of only offering matte black, Costa offers jade, transparent beige, and Shiny American Sky colors.

The main feature here which I want to dive into is the large lenses that these come with. On the one hand, I love them because they stop the UV rays from reaching the eyes and allow you to better see fish in the water.

Also, the lenses weigh down the glasses, so they aren’t going to fall off should you hit some rough water.

However, you might find the large lenses a bit annoying due to the weight and size. If you wear a hat on the water (like my wife), they will push the bill of the hat up.

In my personal opinion, I’d suggest grabbing these if you’re a female angler because I value eye protection over comfort, and these do just that!

Quick tip

If you’re looking for a smaller frame fit, the original Waterwoman sunglasses are a great option.

Costa Santiago Untangled

Costa Del Mar Santiago Untangled

BEST FOR OFFSHORE FISHING

Specs

  • Prescription lenses: Available
  • Frame Fit: Medium
  • Polarized: Yes

Pros

  • Made from recycled fishing nets
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Hood and side shields block peripheral light
  • You can get your prescription in the lenses in the color you need

Cons

  • Black is the only frame color
  • The medium frame might not entirely block wind and sunlight

Why We Chose It

As you already know, Costa is known for making high-quality sunglasses. Which is why they’re on the list multiple times! Santiago sunglasses have the necessary lens options to cover offshore and inshore fishing but they perform best for offshore anglers.

We love the Santiago Untangled model because (somehow) Costa found a way to make these from 97% recycled fishing nets. So they not only protect your eyes, but they help protect the ocean.

As an angler, I’m all about preserving resources that give me hours of enjoyment (lakes, oceans, ponds, etc) and if buying a more ethically sourced sunglass pair does this, then consider it done.

Also, the Costa Santiago Untangled sunglasses just have a solid design for us anglers. They have a hood and side shields to keep the distracting wind and light out of your eyes so you can focus on what’s most important, fishing.

The frames are incredibly comfortable and stylish so you can wear these out in public comfortably and no one is going to think you look weird.

If you’re offshore fishing – these are the polarized sunglasses for you!

Oakley Radar EV Path

Oakley Radar EV Path

MULTI-PURPOSE

Specs

  • Prescription Lenses: Available
  • Frame Fit: Medium/Large
  • Polarized: Yes

Pros

  • Cool, sporty design
  • Lightweight
  • Shatter-resistant

Cons

  • These are high-end sunglasses, and the price reflects that.
  • The only fishing lenses available are the Prizm Deep Water Polarized Lenses.
  • Not designed specifically for fishing
  • Must become an Oakley MVP to receive 50% off replacement frames.

Why We Chose It

While the Radar EV Path sunglasses are not designed specifically for fishing, they are multiple sport sunglasses. So you can purchase these to cover all of your outdoor activities.

The Oakley Radar EV Path sunglasses are for anglers who participate in other sports such as cycling, running, or golfing. As a youth baseball player, I always wanted a pair, so I could look cool on the field.

As they always say “Look good, feel good, feel good, play good. “Now I change that to “fish good!”

The Radar EV Path will keep the wind and direct sunlight out of your eyes with the wrap-around feature of the lenses. However, the lack of shallow water lenses makes these not the best option for inshore anglers.

Oakley pours a tremendous amount of money into its lens technology and offers high-quality frames trusted by athletes of all sports. You can purchase prescription lenses for the Radar EV Path sunglasses, so you don’t have to have contacts drying out your eyes.

Maui Jim Makoa

Maui Jim Makoa

Specs

  • Prescription Lenses: Available
  • Frame Fit: Medium
  • Polarized: Yes

Pros

  • Two Year Warranty
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Trusted brand
  • Customizable

Cons

  • Price reflects the high-end nature of Maui Jim sunglasses
  • Tight frame
  • They don’t fully wrap around the eyes so that they allow peripheral light or wind into your eyes.

Why We Chose It

Maui Jim is known for making quality high-end sunglasses; the Makoa frames are no exception. Makoa sunglasses are for the angler who cares about looking stylish while catching fish.

Maui Jim designed these frames for active adventures such as fishing. Their lens technology is waterproof, repels grease, and is scratch-resistant.

Since the Makoa frames are constructed from injected nylon you won’t have to worry about corrosion from saltwater. The Makoa ST lenses are glass that is 20% to 32% thinner than the traditional glass used for sunglasses.

The thinner glass makes these lenses transparent and lightweight so that the fishing glasses won’t be pressing down on your nose all day while fishing.

Primarily intended for offshore and surf anglers, the Makoa sunglasses protect your eyes from the harsh sunlight you experience while on the open ocean.

Smith Longfin Elite Sunglasses

Smith Longfin Elite Sunglasses

BEST FOR INSHORE FISHING

Specs

  • Prescription Lenses: Not Available
  • Frame Fit: Medium
  • Polarized: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Flexible
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Side shields
  • Safety glasses

Cons

  • Wind and unfiltered light can still reach your eyes from the top and bottom of the frames.
  • You cannot purchase prescription lenses for this frame.
  • Only one frame color option.

Why We Chose It

Smith Optics is a brand less heard of but stands behind its quality products with a lifetime warranty. They are a high-end sunglasses manufacturer, yet they offer sunglasses in a variety of price ranges.

I’d put these Longfin sunglasses in the high-mid price range.

The Smith Optics Longfin frames have side shields to help keep out wind and unwanted light while cruising in the boat and fishing. They are for the angler looking to upgrade their pair of cheap polarized fishing sunglasses for a pair of higher quality.

Smith doesn’t offer specialized lenses for offshore or inshore fishing with the Longfin Elite sunglasses. They will benefit inshore anglers the most because the gray polarized lenses lack the mirror coating that offshore anglers need to cut down on the glare.

Wiley X Aspect

Wiley X Aspect

Specs

  • Prescription Lenses: Available
  • Frame Fit: Medium/Large
  • Polarized: Yes

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Clear

Cons

  • Not many lens or frame color options from which to choose
  • Prescription lenses are not covered under the warranty

Why We Chose It

If you’re looking for prescription lens sunglasses then I’m going to turn you away from these right now. While I love Wiley X and find that their high-mid range sunglasses are not unreasonably priced, they don’t warranty their prescription lenses and that’s not ideal if you need prescription glasses.

If you don’t need prescription sunglasses then the Wiley X Aspect is a solid option. The frames and lenses double as safety glasses, so your eyes will be protected from wind and insects while relocating on the water.

They come standard with a lanyard, so if you need to remove them, you don’t have to worry about them falling into the water.

Emerald mirror and bronze mirror lens colors are your two options with this pair and this will cover most of your fishing scenarios if you freshwater fish.

So again, if you don’t need prescription glasses and if you’re primarily fishing freshwater – you won’t go wrong grabbing a pair of these.

KastKing Skidaway

BEST FISHING SUNGLASSES FOR THE MONEY

KastKing Skidaway

Specs

  • Prescription Lenses: Not Available
  • Frame Fit: Medium/Large
  • Polarized: Yes

Pros

  • Price. You can purchase multiple pairs for the cost of one high-end pair of sunglasses.
  • One Year Warranty
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Unisex, they’re not designed to fit a female or male face perfectly.
  • All plastic, no rubber on nose piece or temple/earpieces.
  • Lower quality, don’t last as long as high-end sunglasses
  • Lens coating is known to deteriorate quickly

Why We Chose It

The price. KastKing Skidaway sunglasses are the best cheap polarized sunglasses for fishing because they don’t require a small loan to purchase them. You can buy multiple pairs for the different fishing you do or just to have as a backup.

The low price means you don’t have to worry so much about losing or breaking them. I’m personally tough on gear, so knowing I’ll only be out one meal if I break these instead of ten meals is comforting.

Storage is also nice with these because the lenses have a scratch-resistant coating. So you can just throw these in your truck or the glove box of your boat without having to worry about them getting scratched.

They come in multiple color options in the frames and lenses, so they will be able to meet your fishing needs no matter what type of fishing you choose to do. They are unisex and a medium to large fit, so they should fit your face just fine.

All in all, I’d highly recommend these Skidaway sunglasses if you’re on a smaller budget or just looking for a cheap pair to have as a backup.

They won’t turn the heads of other anglers at the local fishing hole, but they’re going to get the job done (for cheap!).

Strike King SK Plus Hudson

Strike King SK Plus Hudson Sunglasses

Specs

  • Prescription Lenses: Not Available
  • Frame Fit: Medium
  • Polarized: Yes

Pros

  • Price. If you lose or break them, it’s not a big deal because you didn’t spend a small fortune on them.
  • Multiple colors
  • Scratch-resistant

Cons

  • The quality is not as good as the high-end sunglasses
  • The need to buy multiple pairs for each fishing scenario

Why We Chose It

Strike King offers cheap fishing sunglasses so you can protect your eyes even if you’re on a tight budget. The two different lens colors allow you to use them for bright sunny days or darker cloudy days. Since they are cheaply priced, buying one of each isn’t unreasonable.

With scratch-resistant lenses, you can toss a pair of each into your vehicle or boat, so you always have access to them. While they are scratch-resistant, they are NOT scratch-proof, so you do have to be a little mindful of where and how you store them.

Strike King SK Plus Hudson sunglasses are for the budget-minded angler looking to buy multiple pairs. As with most cheap sunglasses, the quality is inconsistent. They might last you ten years, or they might last you two trips.

The two lens color options mean offshore and inshore anglers can benefit from these Strike King sunglasses. Bass anglers will want green mirror amber base lenses, while deep-sea anglers prefer blue mirror gray base lenses.

Because they’re so cheap, I’d pick up a pair of each lens color that way I’m always covered no matter the conditions I’m fishing.

How To Choose The Best Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing

Best fishing sunglasses

Not all fishing sunglasses are the same because not all fishing situations are the same. Like everything else regarding fishing gear, it’s a matter of angler preference and situation.

There are numerous quality fishing sunglasses on the market, so how do you choose the best pair of sunglasses for you?

The two most significant contributing components to good fishing sunglasses are the frames and the lenses.

Frames

Nylon frames are the best for fishing, especially in saltwater. A good pair of frames are comfortable and help protect your eyes from wind and excessive light. They will have a similar fit and feel to goggles because they wrap around your face and eyes.

You don’t want to spend your money on a pair of fishing sunglasses that you can’t wear all day long because they are too uncomfortable. I’ve had a cheap frame that pressed against the side of my head so hard it gave me a headache after wearing them for an hour.

Needless to say, I don’t wear them anymore, and this is something you need to keep in mind when picking a pair out for yourself.

Lenses

Sunglasses for fishing

A good pair of lenses is going to allow for clear or enhanced vision. All fishing sunglass lenses must be polarized. If they are not polarized, then you are wasting your money. You will notice ALL of the sunglasses mentioned on our list have polarized lenses, even the budget-friendly pairs.

Lenses are made from several different materials. The most common are polycarbonate, glass, and polyurethane.

Polycarbonate lenses are lightweight and shatter-resistant but not scratch-resistant.

Glass lenses offer more clarity, but they are heavier and not impact or shatter-resistant.

Polyurethane is the most expensive, but it provides the benefits of glass and polycarbonate.

The lens color also drastically affects how your lenses perform under different conditions which we’ll dive deeper into below.

Factors to Consider When Buying Polarized Sunglasses For Fishing

When buying your first or 10th pair of fishing sunglasses, think about the most common scenarios you face while fishing and buy the pair that best suits those scenarios.

Weather Conditions You’re Fishing

Even when the clouds are overhead, sunglasses can be highly beneficial to an angler, allowing them to better see into the water. For cloudy days red or bronze tinted sunglasses work the best.

Sunny days are when we think of needing sunglasses the most. The lens colors that work best on sunny days are greens, grays, and browns. Blue lenses also help but they aren’t ideal.

Time of Day You’re Fishing

Early in the morning or late in the evening, you might not consider wearing your sunglasses. However, these are vital times for sight fishing. In these low-light conditions, yellow lenses work the best.

You can switch to your cloudy or sunny pair when the sun is shining brightest the rest of the day.

Where You’re Fishing Trip Takes Place

Your eyewear will perform best in different environments, depending on your lens material and tint.

When offshore fishing, you will face more intense sunlight reflecting off of the water’s surface. This is why having frames and lenses that completely protect your eyes is extremely important. Gray lenses with a blue mirror coating will perform the best while on open water.

When inshore fishing, you will likely have objects that help to block or absorb some of the sunlight. When fishing, freshwater rivers, lake edges, and ponds, trees will cast a shadow on the water, making it difficult for your eyes to see into the water. A green mirror or bronze with copper mirror shines under these conditions.

What You’ll Also Need

Men wearing sunglasses for fishing

Once you find the sunglasses, you want you’re going to need a couple of other items to protect your face from the sun and wind.

Hat

A hat will help reduce the glare directly from the sun so that you won’t be squinting all day long.

Face Shield

A face shield acts as a sun blocker while fishing and a wind blocker while traveling to your fishing spot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sunglasses should I wear for fishing?

Polarized sunglasses are a must for fishing. Polarized lenses allow you to see into the water to spot stumps, rocks, and fish.

Is polarized glass or plastic better for fishing?

The glass will give you more clarity, but the plastic will be more lightweight and comfortable. Polyurethane lenses are a great compromise.

What’s the difference between cheap and expensive sunglasses?

Cheap sunglasses do not offer the quality that more expensive sunglasses do. Cheaper sunglasses will be less comfortable, obscure your vision, or be less durable than expensive sunglasses.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best fishing polarized sunglasses comes down to personal preference. We prefer the Costa Del Mar Fantail Pro Sunglasses because they can cover just about any fishing scenario and provide the most features for the price.

However, purchasing any polarized glasses on the list will help you while you’re on your next fishing trip!

If we failed to mention your favorite fishing sunglasses (or you have a pair you’d like to share with our community), let us know in the comments below!

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