Tackle Reviews

5 Quality Pairs of Bass Fishing Sunglasses


I get the opportunity to wear all kinds of sunglasses, and although I’m not entirely sure how many pairs I own, it’s definitely safe to say that I have more than five pairs. Between my yellow, amber, smoke and dark lenses, I’ve got just about every type of sunglasses for almost any situation. Not only do sunglasses aid my vision while on the water, but they also protect my eyes. I can’t tell you how many times my eyes have been saved by sunglasses—tree branches, bullet weights, wayward baits, bugs and glare can be the biggest enemies for anglers and their eyes. Much like wearing a Mustang PFD, sunglasses are vital when it comes to angler safety.

While my collection of sunglasses is fairly substantial, most of the time I am focused on comfort more so than space age lens technology.  I wear contacts, which can make my search for quality eyewear even more time consuming. Finding a pair of sunglasses that work well, look good and won’t break the bank can certainly be difficult, but rest assured—it is possible. If I don’t get the “wow” factor when I first put them on, they go right back onto the rack.

Over the years, I have worn just about every brand at one time or another, but I have managed to narrow my list down to five quality pairs of fishing sunglasses.

Rudy Project Gozen

I have been wearing this particular set of glasses for the last few months, and to be quite honest, I’ve grown pretty attached to them. They have a smoke-colored lens while also offering a cover flap that allows the lenses to be easily removed for cleaning or changing. Most importantly, these shades are tough as nails and look cool, too.

The quality of this company’s products has been tested in shooting sports for years, resulting in crystal-clear lens clarity and acuity. They fit really well, even on my fat head, and are comfortable to wear all day. The polarization properties are awesome, making objects in the water easily visible.

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Strike King Optics

Known primarily for high-quality fishing tackle, Strike King has hit a home run with the new 11-layer lenses featured in their assortment of new eyewear designed specifically for anglers. Priced at $39.99, these may be the best value in sunglasses right now. Although they are reasonably priced, don’t think for one minute that the quality is lacking.

The Strike King sunglasses have some of the clearest lenses I have ever worn. The new models are lightweight and their selection of frames is enormous. I’m very impressed with how well they wrap around my head, as it makes it very difficult for light to penetrate through the sides. Polarization is certainly not an issue here, either—they offer great visibility on the water.

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Sundog Mark Melnyk Signature Series

These bad boys are my lowlight sunglasses as they feature an amber color on black frames with superb lenses. Well-built with side shields built into the frames, these shades are great for avoiding teary eyes during early morning high-speed runs and also for targeting bedding bass.

Armor-plated and built to last, these sunglasses are nearly impossible to break. I can’t stand a nose piece that falls off and allows sunglasses to slip, and Sundog has solved that problem with an ultra-durable nose piece that screws into place—no slipping or moving whatsoever, even on the hottest days. Adjustable grips on the ear pieces keep them positioned on your head, but they can be a bit heavy to wear for long durations.

While they are a little pricey, the quality is unmatched and Mela-lens polarization cuts through glare and increases visual perception on cloudy days.

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Maui Jim Surf Rider

These Italian-made sunglasses may be the coolest sunglasses I own, as the black outer frames with a cool, blue inner frame look really awesome. Maui Jim made these sunglasses very lightweight and integrated some of the best lens technology, in regards to glare, that I have ever worn. Their patented PolarizedPlus 2 technology enhances color while completely eliminating glare on the water. The Surf Riders are extremely lightweight and can be worn fishing, hunting or for a day at the beach.

Maui Jim has just entered the fishing marketplace with the Surf Rider and the Dorado frames, with both styles making a big splash. Again, they will cost you a few extra dollars, but it’s worth it. I don’t get very amped-up over sunglass test drives, but these glasses made me tilt my head, look for a good mirror and smile the minute I put them on.

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Browning M-Pact

These glasses have “wow” written all over them. Not only are they super comfortable and scratch resistant; they also feature world renowned Zeiss lenses. Browning is a long-standing name that represents the utmost quality for quality for outdoorsmen, and they have done it again with the M-Pacts. The wraparound frame fits nicely, even on a large head, with the hinges being tough and secure. The rubber nose piece makes for a hassle-free pair of sunglasses, inhibiting any slipping or sliding on the bridge of the nose. Depending upon the angle you hold them, the frames glimmer with blue and silver fleck which looks great.

The M-Pacts are very comfortable when worn all day, while also controlling glare as good as any pair on the market. These glasses stay put on your head, making them great for running at high speeds. To make them even cooler, the low-profile style makes you look like a Lamborghini driver. I wear the M-Pacts while driving to media events and tournaments, and they are comfortable to wear in any situation.  A medium priced pair of shades, knowing they have Zeiss lens should give anglers an added comfort level with the purchase.

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Finding quality fishing sunglasses at the right price can be tough, but these five pairs are definitely good choices. While other companies such as Amphibia, Wiley X, Costa Del Mar, Ono’s, Vicious and Smith Optics are good choices too, I have been extremely impressed by the aforementioned pairs.