As an avid fisherman with over 20 years of experience fishing lakes and rivers across my home state, one question I get asked a lot is whether polarized glasses are worth wearing while fishing. After trying various cheap and expensive pairs over the years, I have come to swear by having a good pair of polarized fishing glasses with me whenever I head out on the water. In this blog post, I’ll share my tips and personal experiences on:
- What Polarized Glasses Do
- Why They Are Useful for Fishing
- Features to Look For
- My Top Polarized Fishing Glass Picks
- Proper Wear and Care
- Frequently Asked Questions
I hope this information from one fisherman to another helps you determine if investing in polarized lenses is a good choice to improve your chances of landing more fish on your trips!
What Polarized Glasses Do
Polarized glasses are designed to reduce glare from reflective surfaces like water. They have a special filter that blocks horizontally oriented light waves to cut down on annoying bright glares.
Here are some key benefits this provides while fishing:
- Cuts Through Surface Glare to See Underwater
- Reduces Eye Strain and Fatigue
- Boosts Ability to Spot Fish in Water
- Enhances Depth Perception
- Makes It Easier to Read Structure and Cover
Being able to eliminate surface glare off the water allows you to clearly see below the surface so you can spot fish, underwater cover and structure, submerged vegetation, and land features under the water much more easily.
The overall visual clarity polarized lenses provide also reduce eye strain and fatigue over a long day of staring at the water. This helps you stay alert and aware to detect more bites and properly play and land fish.
Why Polarized Glasses Are Useful for Fishing
Having crisper, glare-free vision into the water delivers some key fishing advantages:
Improved Fish Spotting
You’ll be able to visually detect more fish in the water since you can see to greater depths without interference from surface glare. Spotting fish is the first step to catching them!
Eliminating surface glare helps you notice underwater hazards like rocks, logs, vegetation, etc to avoid nasty accidents while wading or boating. Safety first!
Better Decision Making
Seeing actual structure, weed lines, underwater terrain details lets you smarter decisions on optimal casting zones for different species based on available cover and structure needed.
Fish can’t see polarized light. So blocking surface glare reduces how visible you are above water making it less likely to spook fish compared to the human silhouette and movement mass glare creates.
More Accurate Play & Landings
When you hook a fish, reduced glare lets you keep constant clear vision of the fish while playing it and landing to avoid break offs.
As you can see, being able to peer below the water’s surface and really see what’s down there provides some outstanding benefits to catch more fish and take your fishing abilities up a level!
Features to Look For
With so many choices out there, what should you look for when choosing good quality polarized glasses for fishing? Here are the top things I evaluate:
Lens Clarity – How well do they cut glare and crisply bring out underwater details both up close and at a distance? Lower quality polarized lenses still let too much glare through.
Lens Color – For versatility, I like grey, amber or copper colored lens. They enhance useful colors/details while darkening without over-saturating everything in one color tone. Good for varying light conditions.
Lens Coverage/Field of View – Make sure the lenses optimally block glare off the sides and peripherals, not just straight ahead. Glare bounces around a lot off the water.
Durability – Find polarized glasses built survive getting banged around, wet, dirty etc.. Fishing is rough on gear so they need to handle it.
Fit & Comfort – They need to fit securely and comfortably on your face even when active. Poorly fitted glasses let glare back in.
Value vs Budget – Good polarization quality lenses aren’t cheap but also beware unreasonably priced as likely poor quality.
With the right polarized glasses that meet these criteria, you’ll have the durability and high performance visual clarity both above and below the water essential to master sight fishing!
My Top Polarized Fishing Glass Picks
Here are my personal recommendations in order of value across budget ranges for excellent polarized fishing glasses:
- Smith Guide’s Choice Polarized Glasses
- Flying Fisherman Buchanan Polarized Glasses
$75 – $150
- Maui Jim Peahi Polarized Glasses
- Costa Del Mar Fantail Sunglasses
- Smith Guides Choice Sport Sunglasses
- Maui Jim Red Sands Polarized Sport Glasses
- Costa Del Mar Jose Polarized OCEARCH Limited Edition Sunglasses
- Smith Optics ChromaPop Polarized Brown Sports Glasses
I’ve used them all successfully many times over the years and feel they provide superb versatility, performance and durability for the investment. I still regularly alternate between several pairs to match fishing conditions and personal mood each trip!
Proper Wear and Care
To maximize effectiveness and longevity from your polarized fishing glasses, be sure to:
- Attach secure floatable straps for safety and convenience
- Rinse lenses after use to avoid residue build up affecting optical clarity
- Use protective hard case for storage and transport
- Clean lens only with spray solutions and microfiber cloths to avoid adding scratches
- Avoid dropping or tightly squeezing frames to prevent damage
Follow those habits and a quality set of polarized fishing glasses will reward you with many glare and squint-free years on the water!
Frequently Asked Questions
Still on the polarized glasses fence? Here are answers to some common questions:
Are cheaper polarized glasses still effective?
While less expensive models do reduce glare somewhat, many don’t optimize polarization quality and durability. Paying more does get better performing, longer lasting glasses.
Do lens color and mirror coatings make a difference?
Beyond looks, some lens colors certainly enhance fish visibility better than others in the right light conditions. Mirror coatings also regulate brightness but don’t affect polarization quality.
Do prescription polarized glasses for fishing exist?
Yes, there are plenty of stylish frames from popular fishing brands that can accommodate prescription polarized lenses. Comfort and protection for your vision while fishing!
Do females need women-specific fishing polarized glasses?
While functional differences are minimal, popular fishing brands now offer frames in stylish shapes and sizes intended to complement women’s faces better.
Do I need multiple pairs of polarized fishing glasses?
One versatile, neutral colored quality pair should handle most fishing. But it doesn’t hurt to have a back-up in case of loss/damage. And it’s always nice to coordinate shades with fishing gear, right?
Well that covers my key polarized fishing glasses tips, recommendations and advice based on many years of successful use to consistently spot more fish. Hopefully you now feel informed to choose sport-specific models that will optimize your vision both above and below the water on your next fishing adventure. Tight lines everyone!