We get asked all the time about what are the best fishing sunglasses we would recommend for various applications and fishing scenarios. While we’ve provided hundreds of recommendations over the years, we’ve never taken a concerted effort to review most of the new offerings and pick out some of the best to fit different anglers needs.
So this year we’ve been fortunate to test and use most of the new best fishing sunglasses out on the market and coming to market very soon. We went and visited most of the manufacturers at ICAST and have now been on the water with most of the sunglasses new for this year for anglers. We’ve tried to break down some of the bests for various budgets, fits, performance and more.
BEST FISHING SUNGLASSES FEATURES
When trying to determine which will be the right fishing sunglasses for you, there are several factors to consider. For our tests we focused on these following factors:
- Light Blocking
- Fit / Comfort
- Lens Clarity
- Additional features
Polarized lenses have the ability to cut reflective glare off the water’s surface so you can peer down into the water better. You also can add in degrees of protection from UVA and UVB lightwaves to reduce eye strain and fatigue over the long haul. In other words keeping your eyes healthy while on the water.
Coupled with that, you have light blocking ability. If you let a lot of light in around the sides of the frames or above and below the frames then you reduce the sunglasses ability to block reflective light and inhibit your ability to see on and in the water.
Fit and Comfort
Fit and comfort are based usually on the size frame relative to your head as well as how the arms are shaped and the nose piece on the bridge of your nose. It’s often why it’s best to try on a pair of sunglasses if you can. But anymore we found a good rule of thumb on the Costa site for figuring out which frames will fit you best. If you where a snap back trucker hat and you button up all the holes you probably want a small or medium frame. If you button up 4-5 holes you probably want to look for medium-large frames. And, finally, if you only button up the last two holes, you probably should look at XL frames or the bigger large frames.
Lens clarity has come a long way in sunglasses and this is often what separates a $40 pair of sunglasses from a $200 pair of sunglasses. High quality, thin glass with light blocking properties can almost make your vision better. Glass is clearer than polycarbonate and honestly you can do more with it, so a glass lens is always more expensive than plastic.
The other thing that makes some sunglasses more expensive is the durability of the frames. You can make a pair of plastic frames for fishing sunglasses for $10, but if you drop them or sit down on them by accident, they are done. Companies like Wiley X who come from the tactical world come close to making indestructable lenses and super durable frames that can certainly handle fishing.
This is often overlooked by anglers, but if you ever been on the water with your hands full with big fish, a rod in one hand a net in the other and your glasses keep slipping off your nose, it’s a really frustrating deal. So having good nose pieces and pads, good arms, easy lanyard attachments and more.
Things like oleophobic coatings, scratch proof mirror coatings, vented side shields, lanyards, and more add to the value of the best fishing sunglasses. So we also took a look at those as well on each set we reviewed.
BEST FISHING SUNGLASSES BRANDS
The best fishing sunglasses brands have changed a lot in recent years but there a few newcomers that are worth the money now that will cover in our breakdown below. For the most part the perennial powerhouse in fishing sunglasses have been the following:
- Wiley X
- Maui Jim
Some newcomers, however, are making waves and really good sunglasses right now include the following:
- Hobie Eyewear
BEST FISHING SUNGLASSES FOR THE MONEY
Best All-Around Fishing Sunglasses – Costa Blackfin Pro
The Costa Blackfin Pro polarized fishing sunglasses offer a lot of the wanted features in a good pair of glasses. These shades build on the original Blackfin which has been one of Costa’s most popular frames. But the new Pro frames offer adjustable vented nose grips, stickier temple tabs with pre drilled lanyard attachment points with metal protectors.
The wide sides block side light very well making it a lot easier to see into open water and reducing eye fatigue on super bright days. I tested the blue mirror lenses which are great for open water applications and high sun days.
This is an all-around frame anglers with average to large heads.
Read our full review of the Costa Blackfin Pro Sunglasses here.
Best Fishing Sunglasses in Durability – Wiley X Grid
I really liked the Wiley X Grid sunglasses as well. These frames are made to last even the worst abuse from the toughest conditions. The frames are made of a highly flexible Triloid nylon, one of the toughest materials available. Likewise the shatterproof lenses are made from Selenite, a material that is extremely protective, shatterproof and exceptionally clear.
So knowing they would be solid frames, they were very light, featured a removable clip-on Facial Cavity Seal and the lenses were very clear for polycarbonate. Their Captivate polarized color-enhancing lenses are very good at seeing into the water. I was able to pick out brush from a distance with these sunglasses. So I was very happy with these shades.
I really torqued on these frames too. Twisted, pulled and yes sat on. And perfectly fine and back on my face. So they live up to the hype.
Best Large Frame Fishing Sunglasses – Bajio Roca
The Bajio Roca frames were the largest frames we tested and the extra large fit, comfort and viewing area were all superb. Not surprising, as the new player Bajio is powered by a lot of former developers for the powerhouse big brands in fishing sunglasses. So they are going to do very well with their glasses we predict. Nevermind the fact that these sunglasses just won Best of Show at ICAST 2022. And now we see why.
The Roca frames offer maximum coverage with a full base curve wrap design for maximum light blocking performance. The frames are a durable bio-based nylon with proprietary non-slip rubber nose grips and temple tips. The hinges flex for maximum comfort on any larger sized head. They were very comfortable to wear all day and we had great visibility into the water with these fishing glasses.
The lenses and frames together were made to be the ultimate sight fishing sunglasses. The polarized lenses feature their proprietary blue light blocking LAPIS technology and scratch resistant oleophobic coating. They come in polycarbonate and glass options.
I have a large head and generally wear large frames. These were actually extra large on me but they really give you so much viewing area into the water. I felt like I had a lot more peripheral vision in these frames.
Best Sunglasses Under $100 – Hobie Monarch Float
I really liked the new Hobie Monarch Float fishing sunglasses. They feature easily removed side panels that do a great job blocking out the peripheral light from the top and sides when you’re really staring into the water. But they come off quickly for things like driving the truck to the lake.
The frames float, come with an adjustable retainer strap, HydroClean 360 degree lenses and a flatter 6-base curve shape to the frame.
These are average to large frames (53-20-126). But they are super light, comfortable and I like the way the look for fishing and everyday wear. Hard to beat at $99.
Best Fishing Sunglasses Under $60 – Torege Pure Cratos
I took a chance on one of those drop ship frames off Amazon and Instagram just to compare. I have to be honest. I was pretty pleasantly surprised. The frames came with a lanyard, a cloth, a soft case and a hard case. And I got all of that for $49.
The frames are comfortable, flexible, feature double action hinges for a flexible fit and the lenses weren’t too bad. So to say these will satisfy any small budget angler is accurate.
The lenses aren’t the clearest, but very usable. I’m seeing them on sale at Amazon.com regularly for $25. So you are really getting a decent pair of sunglasses for not much money.
Best Fishing Sunglasses Under $50 – Strike King S11 Optics
Strike King S11 Optics Sunglasses feature high contrast lenses with bi-gradient mirror treatment, super hydrophobic and anti-reflective coating. So for a $39 price tag, you get a decent pair of everyday fishing glasses with nylon lenses and stylish frames that won’t break the bank and if you lose or break them, it’s not nearly as painful.
I’ve worn Strike King sunglasses for a couple of years and they work well for a lot of applications. These are the Okeechobees which offer good side glare protection, clear viewing and lightweight comfort.
You do have to be careful with the mirror finishes as they will scuff and scratch. But if you always put them in a soft case, they will be worth the money for a while.
Best Lenses – Maui Jim Alenuihaha
I’m a big fan of Maui Jim. I bought my wife a pair for her birthday because a good friend sells them at Fast Eddies on Kentucky Lake. So I was anxious to test some of their newer fishing frames with that new Hawaii Lava lens.
These large frames feature an 8 base curve (64-14-123) in the triple-injected nylon material with spring hinge. The comfortable lightweight wrap design that best complements square, oval or oblong or heart-shaped faces. The bridge features a fixed saddle style construction with embedded rubber nose pads.
But the lenses are the real story. Maui Jim makes some of the clearest lenses thanks to their Super Thin Glass. You get 30% or so thinner and lighter lenses that offer the best scratch and solvent resistance. You can get them with readers which is a dynamite option on this high quality of a frame.
I loved these sunglasses. They were comfortable, but had some of the best viewing into the water I’ve seen on a pair of glasses.
Best Conservation-Minded Sunglasses – Costa Untangled Antille
The Costa Untangled collection features frames made from recycled fishing nets. Their partnership with Bureo created a line of sunglasses made from the recycled materials.
I’ve been wearing the Costa Untangled Antilles for quite a while and they quickly have become some of my favorite fishing glasses I’ve ever owned. The oversized lenses and flat profile fit perfectly to my face and cheeks so I get maximum viewing from any angle. They are really one of the best fishing sunglasses and the fact we’re helping conservation efforts makes it even better.
BEST OF THE REST FISHING SUNGLASSES
Bajio Vega Sunglasses
These large frames were more horizontally rectangular with a good base wrap and wide temples to keep the perephiral light out that causes eye strain. The glasses fit really nice to the face so you really had your eyes pocketed to see well into the water. Their LAPIS technology with color enhancing qualities makes picking fish and cover out under the surface a lot easier.
I think a lot of anglers will gravitate to this frame as an all-around fishing performer.
Costa Jose Pro Sunglasses
Newly announced at ICAST, the new Jose Pro Sunglasses build off the success of the original tribute frames to long-time Costa pro Jose Wejebe. The Jose Pro Sunglasses use new features like the vented adjustable nose grips to manage sweat, reduce fogging and keep their frames locked in place, even when the water gets rough.
The narrow arms and medium frames will fit most small to medium heads comfortably and easily. We checked the frames out at ICAST and they will be another fan favorite amongst the anglers looking for smaller frames that give you great fit and function in a variety of shallow and deep water fishing applications.
Fin-Nor North Drop Sunglasses
I was not as familiar with the Fin-Nor sunglasses, but I’ve been very impressed with their new North Drop frames announced at ICAST. Engineered with superior Lateral Line Lens Technology and featuring the world’s best 7-layer anti-reflective coating on the glass lens and 5-layer anti-reflective coating on the polycarbonate lenses to prevent glare on the backside of the lens, anglers can enjoy sharpened vision and reduced eye strain for a better visual acuity on the water.
These bio-resin frames are great large frames that cover my viewing area perfectly. They feature adjustable and easily replacable nose grips, and tacky flexible side arms with dual direction hinges for a perfect fit no matter what face shape. The arms can be adjusted to have a tighter or looser fit and the lenses were very clear. These are a great pair of sunglasses for a demanding angler.
I thought they were comfortable, no-slip, and great viewing ability into the water. And they feel like they will last many fishing seasons.
Wiley X Omega Jacob Wheeler Sunglasses
The Wiley X Omega Frames in the Jacob Wheeler Edition feature their Captivate lenses which are known for their incredible ANSI Z87.1 rating for clarity, protection and safety as well as their Bayer 7 scratch resistance rating. So these are some of the most fishable, durable sunglasses you can buy.
Wiley X started as a tactical sunglasses company and expanded into outdoor pursuits because outdoorsmen require the same high level of performance from their sunglasses.
Hobie Bluefin Float HC Sunglasses
These new Bluefin Float HC frames from Hobie feature the largest frame build they offer with tall sides for maximum coverage to blockout side light inspired by Bassmaster Classic Champ Hank Cherry. The no-slip arms and nose pads keep the glasses secure to your face. They are good fitting and comfortable sunglasses that start at $99.
So you are getting good quality, no-slip performance and coverage for that middle price point in a pair of fishing sunglasses that float.
The lenses I tested were the Sightmaster lenses recommended for low-light, overcast conditions and being able to see fish in shallow water without a lot of sunshine.
Smith Spinner Sunglasses
We checked out the new Smith Spinner frames with the ChromaPop lenses that enhance natural color and contrast that make the small details pop. These sunglasses are smudge and moisture resistant to keep your viewing clear.
These frames feature 6-base curve in a large wraparound fit. The Evolve bio based frame material is really light and wears really comfortably. The auto-lock hinges are nice for taking on and off.
The felt nice and we are anxious to get on the water with them. We have had really good experiences with their ChromaPop lenses and would like to see it in a full shield on the water.
Wiley X Ozone Sunglasses
As the newest member of their Climate Control series, the Wiley X Ozone offers CLICK A.I.R. Gaskets combined exceptional protection from the elements with a quick-click ventilation option to eliminate fogging. These frames are light, feature the Captivate color-enhancing polarized lenses and ANSI Z87.1+ protection.
Even though these have polycarbonate lenses, they are very clear with great color. I could see really well into the water with them. The air gaskets keep the sun completely blocked and vent well. They are comfortable, light and tough.
I really enjoyed wearing these fishing. They are light enough and comfortable that you forget you are wearing them.
Hobie Mojo Float HC Sunglasses
The Hobie Eyewear Mojo Float HC are super lightweight, float and feature all-day comfort in a stylish frame inspired by Hank Cherry. I wore them fishing and enjoyed the fit and viewing in these sunglasses. They use 360-degree Hydro Polarized Nylon lenses in a frame with an XL fit (67-18-120).
They fit snugly to your face with mid-sized side guards to keep most of the light out on the side. So they performed well for a middle price-point pair of fishing sunglasses.
Oakley Split Shot Sunglasses
The Oakley Split Shot Sunglasses utilize HDpolarized Plutonite lenses that filter out 100% of UVA and UVB and offer impact resistance that meets ANSI standards.
These frames are light and comfortable and popular with the anglers we know. They are made to fit under a hat while fishing and give you maximum coverage from above that way. The nose pads are comfortable and hold well. These are a bit on the pricey side at $250.