The 10 Best Fishing Sunglasses of 2022

The Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley PROs offer enhanced definition and clarity

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Best Fishing Sunglasses
TripSavvy / Nathan Allen.
TripSavvy's Pick

The Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley PRO sunglasses boast 100 percent UV protection, use sweat channels and eyewire drains to eliminate moisture, and come in a variety of frame and lens colors. For an affordable and well-reviewed pick, reach for the Tifosi Swank sunglasses.

Quality fishing sunglasses protect your eyes from sun damage, reduce glare, and act as a barrier against flying hooks and sinkers. Whether you prefer glass or polycarbonate lenses, your priority should be maximum UV protection when choosing sunglasses. As the owner of P&A Eyecare, James Michael, says, “exposure to UV light has been linked to certain eye conditions including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which can ultimately cause serious vision problems and even a total loss of sight.” Defending yourself against these conditions is therefore of utmost importance.  

Fishing sunglasses should also be polarized, according to optometrist Bryan Wolynski. By choosing polarized lenses, you will not only “reduce glare, but also improve your ability to see beneath the surface, making it more comfortable to spend long hours on the water.” Other factors to look for include lens color, fit, and frame material (for fishing, materials that can withstand prolonged exposure to sun and saltwater, such as nylon, are preferable to rust-prone metal or easily warped plastics).

To make your decision easier, here are the best fishing sunglasses across various categories.

Best Overall: Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley PRO Sunglasses

4.9
Costa Del Mar Tuna Alley PRO Sunglasses

Costa Del Mar

What We Like
  • 580 glass lenses for unparalleled clarity and definition

  • Durable, lightweight Bio Resin frame

  • Available in multiple lens and frame colors

What We Don't Like
  • Not all lens colors are available in every frame color

  • One of the most expensive options on this list

Arguably the most famous name in fishing-specific sunglasses, Costa del Mar set new standards with their 2022 edition of the Tuna Alley PRO sunglasses. Expect 100 percent UV protection and polarized 580 glass lenses that eliminate glare while enhancing colors and clarity for the best possible vision on the water. The lightwave glass is also fully scratch-resistant and 22 percent lighter than your average polarized glass. Choose from a range of lens colors, from blue mirror (best for offshore fishing) to sunrise silver (for ultra low light conditions). 

The Tuna Alley PROs also feature sweat channels and eyewire drains for keeping moisture out of your eyes. You can adjust the vented nose pad for a customized fit, while Hydrolite grips on the nose and earpieces ensure the glasses stay in place no matter how hard you fight while bringing in the big one. Lastly, the frame shape has been fully updated with additional side shields and top hooding to prevent light from leaking around the edges. Frame colors include black, gray, and camo.

Best Budget: Tifosi Swank Sunglasses

4.6
Tifosi Swank Sunglasses

Tifosi

What We Like
  • Hydrophilic pads for a secure, non-slip fit

  • Polarized lenses with 100 percent UV protection

  • Review-backed performance at an affordable price

What We Don't Like
  • Limited choice of lens colors

  • Polycarbonate lenses are easier to scratch than glass

Tifosi Swank Polarized Sunglasses offer an alternative option at the other end of the price spectrum if you'd rather not spend hundreds of dollars on your fishing eyewear. The Swank's are a solid choice for those like us who are hard on or lose sunnies. Coming in at roughly a fifth of the price of the most expensive glasses on this list, they combine a casual, retro-style with all of the essential features necessary for a comfortable and safe day out on the water—namely, polarized lenses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. The glasses also come in a non-polarized version for even greater savings. 

The polycarbonate lenses cannot compete with glass for clarity but have one significant advantage—they're 20 times more impact-resistant than glass and are therefore often considered the safer choice. The frame is made of high-strength nylon for durability and lightness, while hydrophilic pads on the nose and earpieces mean that the more you sweat, the more the sunglasses will grip in place. Choose from a range of frame and lens colors.

Tifosi Swank Sunglasses
TripSavvy / Nathan Allen.

Best for Fly Fishing: Bajío Calda Sunglasses

Bajío Calda Sunglasses

Courtesy of Moosejaw

What We Like
  • Conservation-minded, 100 percent carbon neutral ethos

  • Clarity guaranteed by proprietary polarization technology

  • Classically stylish frame in a range of eye-catching colors

What We Don't Like
  • Glass lens version is at the upper end of price spectrum

  • Medium fit may not suit particularly narrow or large faces

Named for the shallows and inspired by fly fishing expeditions to the world’s best saltwater flats, the Bajio team is as passionate about the sport as you are. Built for long days on the water, the Bajio Calda sunglasses feature solid, ultra-light frames made from bio-based nylon. Soft rubber contact points keep the glasses firmly in place no matter how many times you cast, and you can choose polycarbonate or glass lenses, depending on your budget and preference. 

Either way, both lens styles are polarized with the brand’s proprietary LAPIS technology, which reduces glare and blue light transmission to provide superior clarity. With your Bajio Caldas, it’s easier than ever to spot fish and structures under the water. The lenses also feature an oleophobic coating to repel oil and grime, reducing the likelihood of scratches and making them easier to clean. And with a classic, square-shaped frame in a choice of four colors and six lens colors, you don’t have to skimp on style.

We were already digging these classes. But a recent trip to Colorado's Blue River changed the game and created a deeper love when we picked out the red stripes of the Rainbows and Cutbows while others in our group couldn't. Sight fishing for 20-inch trout has never been so easy or fun.

Bajio Calda Sunglasses
TripSavvy / Nathan Allen.

Best Low Light: Smith Optics Guide's Choice Sunglasses

Smith Optics Ignitor Sunglasses

Smith Optics

What We Like
  • Smudge- and moisture-resistant coating

  • Specially tinted lenses for extreme low light conditions

  • Self-adjusting hinges and non-slip pads for a comfortable fit

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideally suited to narrow face shapes

  • Low light lens is only available in one frame color

Although several of the brands mentioned on this list offer low-light-specific lens colors, one model stands out among reviewers for providing the best possible visibility at dawn and dusk or on cloudy days. The Smith Optics Guide’s Choice sunglasses with Low Light Ignitor lenses eliminate glare while still allowing maximum light transmission. The lenses are also polarized and made from scratch-resistant Techlite glass for impeccable clarity. 

One hundred percent UV protection comes as standard, as does a smudge- and moisture-resistant coating that makes the glasses exceptionally easy to keep clean. Wide temples and full wrap-around coverage make these sunnies best suited for medium to large face shapes, although the premium Italian hinges self-adjust for a customizable fit. Other highlights include non-slip megol pads on the bridge and temples; and an integrated, detachable leash. The Low Light Ignitor lenses come in one frame color–black.

Smith Guide's Choice Sunglasses
TripSavvy / Nathan Allen.

Best Floatable: Bollé Holman Floatable Sunglasses

Bollé Holman Floatable Sunglasses
Bollé Holman Floatable Sunglasses.
What We Like
  • Lightweight and floatable (duh)

  • Good mid-range price point

  • Comfortable fit

What We Don't Like
  • Nothing yet

I mean, we feel like everyone needs a floatable pair of sunnies. We can't even begin to explain how many times we've dropped a pair of sunnies over the boat, off the dock, or from a pier. If you spend enough time on the water, those things will happen. That's why we love Bollé's Holman Floatable sunnies. We also love how lightweight and comfy they are. Thanks to some proprietary thermoplastic rubber in strategic places, the Holman's actually get grippier when wet.

We also dig that these sunnies have 100 percent UV protection and fit slimmer faces well. Bonus: All Bollé products come with a two-year warranty, and these sunnies are at a solid mid-range price point. So, even if you do somehow lose them, it won't hurt as much.

Bollé Holman Floatable Sunglasses
TripSavvy / Nathan Allen.

Most Durable: Wiley X WX Valor Tactical Sunglasses

Wiley X WX Valor Tactical Sunglasses

Wiley X

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Designed to meet military ballistic safety standards

  • Interchangeable, prescription-compatible lenses

What We Don't Like
  • Only one lens color is polarized

  • Polarized version is considerably more expensive

Ideal for anglers who put their sunglasses through hell day after day or tend to leave them lying on the deck or center console in rough seas, Wiley X WX Valor tactical sunglasses are built to last. Manufactured by a company founded by veterans for veterans, the glasses feature Shatterproof Selenite polycarbonate lenses, which meet ANSI Z87.1 standards for optical clarity and high mass and high-velocity impact. They’re also certified for eye protection in military combat. 

The lenses offer 100 percent UV protection and come in a range of different colors. Unlike any of the other glasses on this list, they are interchangeable, making it possible to use the same lightweight, semi-rimless frame for various fishing conditions. The drawback? Only one color combination (matte black frame with smoke gray lenses) is polarized. Other benefits of these glasses include a T-Shell lens coating for heightened scratch resistance and rubber-tipped temples to keep them in place.

Best Clarity: Maui Jim Peahi Sunglasses

Maui Jim Peahi Sunglasses

Backcountry

What We Like
  • SuperThin glass for best-in-class clarity

  • Saltwater-resistant frame and lenses

  • Lightweight, hypoallergenic nylon polymer frame

What We Don't Like
  • Price is well out of the budget range

  • Each frame color offers just one choice of lens color

Maui Jim sunglasses are renowned for their superior clarity—the main benefit of the Hawaiian manufacturer’s unique SuperThin glass, which is up to 32 percent thinner and lighter than standard glass. It’s also exceptionally scratch-resistant, so your glasses look new for longer. The Peahi model features a flattering, wraparound frame that suits almost every face shape. Expect both 100 percent UV protection and state-of-the-art polarization for increased sharpness and decreased eye strain. 

The frame is made of a lightweight nylon polymer known for its strength and shape retention, while rubber earpiece ends and a non-slip, silicone nose pad work together to ensure a secure, comfortable fit. These sunglasses are excellent for ocean-going fishers with saltwater protection treatment on the lenses and frames and corrosion-resistant hinges. Lenses come in three colors: bronze (for everyday use in variable conditions) and gray or blue mirror (for bright, direct sunlight).

Best Comfort: Oakley Splitshot Sunglasses

Oakley Splitshot Sunglasses

REI

What We Like
  • Hat-compatible frame design

  • Lenses especially developed for impact resistance

  • Prizm technology for enhanced color and contrast

What We Don't Like
  • Polarization is an optional extra

  • Not all frame/lens color combinations can be polarized

Although all of the sunglasses on this list are engineered with comfort in mind, the Oakley Split Shots take first place in this category for their hat-compatible design, which allows you to pair sunnies and a baseball cap without any awkward overlap. The O Matter frame provides lightweight comfort and durability, while the Three-Point Fit holds lenses in precise optical alignment to prevent visual fatigue from developing throughout the day. Prone to sweating while fishing? No problem. The Unobtanium nose pad increases grip as you sweat. 

The sunglasses feature an aggressive wrap for maximum glare blockage. The lenses are made from Plutonite; a polycarbonate developed to provide 100 percent UV protection while also meeting or exceeding ANSI Z80.3 impact resistance standards. Prizm technology enhances color, contrast, and detail, although polarization is an optional extra. Choose from 14 different frame and lens color combinations, 11 of which are polarized. All versions come with a detachable leash and protective case.

Best Mid-Range: Filthy Anglers Delta Polarized Sunglasses

Filthy Anglers Delta Polarized Sunglasses

Amazon

What We Like
  • Choice of frame and lens colors

  • Optically correct lenses adjusted to eliminate distortion

  • Standard and upgraded versions available, both for under $100

What We Don't Like
  • Polarization on cheaper version may peel over time

  • Polycarbonate lenses are not as clear as glass ones

The Delta sunglasses from Filthy Anglers are not much more in price than the polarized version of the Tifosi Swanks. These glasses are designed with fishermen and women in mind and offer 100 percent UV protection and polarized, polycarbonate lenses with a scratch-resistant coating that repels water, sweat, and oil to keep your vision as clear as possible. The thickness of the lenses was adjusted to eliminate distortion, allowing you to judge casting distance accurately. 

The frame is made from Grilamid nylon, making it both corrosion- and weather-resistant. Choose yours in matte black or matte gray, depending on the lens color you want. Options include gray, brown, blue, and red. If you have a little more room in your budget, you can also upgrade to the EP Mirror version of this model without breaking the $100 mark. Available with blue or green lenses, these sunglasses feature an integrated polarized mirror rather than a coating that can potentially scratch or peel over time.

Best Slim Fit: Native Eyewear Penrose Sunglasses

Native Eyewear Penrose Sunglasses

Backcountry

What We Like
  • Relatively inexpensive

  • Designed especially for narrower face shapes

  • Resin frame promises both lightness and durability

What We Don't Like
  • Limited choice of frame/lens color combinations

  • Emphasis on style rather than fishing-specific performance

If you have a narrow face, choosing sunglasses specially designed for a slim fit makes all the difference. Native Eyewear’s Penrose model fits this description, with a frame width of 126 millimeters and a 6-base curve for a flatter front profile. The glasses are available in three frame and lens color combinations: tortoiseshell with bronze reflex lenses, natural wood with brown lenses, and matte black with blue reflex lenses. All of them are polarized, and all offer 100 percent UV protection. 

As with most more-affordable sunglasses, the lenses are made of ophthalmic-grade polycarbonate rather than glass. However, these boast a hard coating for increased scratch resistance and are both oleo- and hydrophobic. The upshot: Having your vision blurred by water droplets or dirty fingerprints should be a thing of the past. Other pros include a lightweight, bio-based resin frame capable of withstanding extreme temperatures; and hypoallergenic non-slip grips for keeping your glasses firmly in place.

What to Look for in Fishing Sunglasses

Polarization

As every angler knows, glare caused by the reflection of sunlight off flat surfaces can be a source of significant discomfort on the water. According to P&A Eyecare owner James Michael, “the main feature that sets polarized lenses apart from standard tinted lenses is their ability to reduce glare, making vision considerably less tiring.” Polarized lenses also make contours clearer and improve your ability to see through the water—a major benefit for sight fishing techniques, knowing where to cast, and spotting hazardous submerged obstacles. 


UV Protection

The reflective quality of water means anglers are exposed to a greater intensity of harmful UV light—which, as optometrist Bryan Wolynski confirms, can increase your risk of “cataracts, macular degeneration, and even skin cancer around the eyes and eyelids.” It’s, therefore, crucial to be proactive by choosing sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. If protection isn’t presented as a percentage, look for sunglasses labeled UV400. 

Lens Color

Most sunglasses developed especially for anglers are available in a range of lens colors. As Ruaridh Knott, a sales expert at Edinburgh Angling Centre, says, “different colors are suitable for different levels of brightness—for example, open water versus shaded backcountry streams.” Colors can be brand-specific, but generally speaking, lenses with a blue or gray mirror are intended for highly bright conditions such as fishing on the open ocean. Copper or green lenses are best for variable light conditions, while those who fish primarily in low light conditions will get the highest light transmission from a yellow or silver mirror lens.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Do I need polarized glasses for fishing?

    Need? No. But polarized lenses are better able to filter out the intense glare caused by sunlight reflecting off the water. Reduced glare makes it less tiring and more comfortable to spend extended periods doing what you love. It also enhances your vision by seeing more clearly through the water. Whether you’re sight fishing for bonefish on inshore flats or directing your cast towards submerged structures when targeting bass or crappie, this advantage makes investing in polarized glasses worthwhile.

  • Do I need different sunglasses for different types of fishing?

    Again, need? No. But having a few in your kit for different light conditions is not a bad idea if you spend a lot of time fishing. When purchasing fishing sunglasses, the two most important considerations are polarization and maximum UV protection. As long as the glasses fulfill these criteria, you can safely use them for all types of fishing. However, if you have the budget, your performance can be improved by choosing lens colors for specific conditions. If you often fish in very different scenarios (for example, in extremely bright, offshore conditions versus low-light conditions at dawn or dusk) you may want to choose a different pair of glasses for each one.

  • How much should I spend on fishing glasses?

    As with most things, spending as much as your budget allows will typically get you a long-lasting, hard-wearing product that delivers maximum performance while giving your vision the highest level of protection possible. For the quality assurance from fishing-specific brands such as Costa del Mar or Smith Optics, you’ll need to budget between $200 and $300, depending on the model you choose. However, it is possible to buy glasses that fit the essential criteria (polarization and 100 percent UVA and UVB protection) for as little as $50.

Why Trust TripSavvy

When researching this article, author Jessica Macdonald sought the input of multiple experts, including certified optometrist Bryan Wolynski, optician James Michael, and Ruaridh Knott at Edinburgh Angling Centre. With their help, she created a shortlist of more than 20 sunglasses that fit the necessary criteria for fishing. She then narrowed the selection down by comparing real-life customers' product specifications, prices, and reviews.

Nathan Allen, TripSavvy's outdoor gear editor, helped with research and testing for this article. As a lifelong angler, he still remembers his first polarized sunglasses. He fly fishes dozens of days each year, and his current go-to sunnies are the Bajio Caldas.

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