Selecting Sunglasses for your Fishing Needs


What a fisherman wears for sunglasses should not be taken lightly. Sunglasses are critical from an angling standpoint and a safety one as well. The right pair of sunglasses allows you to spend countless hours on the water; to see objects below the water’s surface; avoid harmful damage to your eyes from the sun’s rays; and to protect your eyes from flying objects such as fishing lures, or bugs when driving down the lake at 60-plus miles per hour.

Selecting the right pair of sunglasses can be quite a time-consuming process as anglers have their own preferences on fit, feel and style. When looking at a new pair of sunglasses for the next fishing season, here are some items to consider:

You should wear your sunglasses the majority of, if not the whole time, you are out on the water, so you want them to be comfortable. Are sunglasses comfortable on your head, especially behind the ears and on your nose? For many diehard anglers, a fishing trip isn’t just an hour or two venture; it is at least a half day or more on the water, meaning that these sunglasses could potentially be on your face for up to 12 hours.

I make sure that the nose pads don’t pinch my nose and that they fall at a comfortable spot on my nose. The frames of the sunglasses shouldn’t pinch the area behind the ears, nor extend out too far where they will be a distraction. Obviously, the best way to see if a pair of potential sunglasses is comfortable is to try on as many pairs as possible.

Also coming into play is how sunglasses feel and fit on an angler’s face according to the style or profile of those sunglasses. My head and face are on the smaller side, so the sunglasses I go with are on the lower-profile side of things, like RLVNT Rangers, which cater to persons who have similar head and face profiles. I don’t like is sunglasses that overpower my face and feel like my face is swimming inside the frame. But for a person who has a larger profile head and face, you don’t want to go with sunglasses that are too small, as the sunglasses won’t provide the needed eye protection.

The most important aspect is that the lenses are polarized. A good, polarized lens will take the glare off the water, allowing you to see underwater cover and even fish. Some lenses are plastic, while others are glass, but most are now constructed out of a polycarbonate material.

I immediately noticed that RLVNT’s lens technology adapts to the conditions you are in, which provides high color contrast to what you are looking at underwater. You can pick out a big bass on a bed, a juicy-looking patch of milfoil or a laydown underneath the surface.

Looking stylish in your sunglasses is important, but more important is the color of the lens. Certain color lenses perform better during certain times of the day according to light and cloud conditions. Many manufactures offer lenses in the following colors, which excel in the conditions listed next to them.

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Gold—a good all-around lens that enhances blues and green and tone down reds and oranges

Green—shines when you need enhanced differentiation in water with heavy vegetation; great for sight-fishing

Red—when you are fishing lakes or rivers that are muddy or tannic

Blue—great for open-water fishing where there is the maximum amount of glare, such as coastal fishing

Amber/Bronze—a good lens choice that delivers the brightest field of vision

Grey—excels when the sun is shining bright

You want to be happy with how your sunglasses look on you, as you need to be happy with them. Sunglasses are just as important protecting your eyes off the water as they are when you are out fishing. You also want them to be stylish when you are wearing them in restaurants, stores and gas stations.

Before you go out fishing this spring, examine your current eyewear to and see if they are up to the task of keeping your eyes safe throughout the next fishing season. An easy purchase now will pay off later when your eyes are protected and your fishing abilities are enhanced.