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Which polarised fishing sunglasses are best?

Which polarised fishing sunglasses are best?

As fly fishermen we know only too well the risks we can face when casting, particularly in windy conditions and eye protection is paramount to minimise this risk. Polarized fishing sunglasses not only tick this box, but they give the added advantage of reducing surface glare cutting out harmful UVA and UVB light and allowing an angler to gaze into the water in an almost magical way.

Whether you’re stalking brown trout on crystal clear English chalkstreams or surveying the tropical flats of the Indian Ocean chasing bonefish and GT’s; the ability to see your quarry will greatly improve your catch rate. Not just purely for fishing applications either, my glasses live in my car and I always use them for driving – they make a huge difference, particularly in the rain.

Glass v Polycarbonate Fishing Sunglasses

Deciding which ones to purchase can be as confusing as the number of lenses and frames on offer. There are several colours of lenses available and each one is more suited to certain situations than others. These can then be broken down into two types of material used to manufacture the lenses. The cheapest is polycarbonate (plastic) and the other is glass. 

Over the years I have owned both and they can have their pluses and minuses. Polycarbonate is better on your wallet but is far more prone to scratches if treated a little heavy-handedly. They are lighter in weight than glass and can make a big difference to the comfort of the fit particularly if being matched with a lightweight frame.

Glass on the other hand is far more resistant to scratches and has much more durability however, they weigh more but I find that a small price to pay and some of the pairs I own are now getting close to 15 years old and are still going strong.

Glass v PolycarbonateGlass v Polycarbonate
Glass v Polycarbonate - what to choose?

We stock a large range from various manufacturers including Bajio, Costa Del Mar and Fortis. Costa has been a well-known brand for many years and recently have started using bio-based plastic resin for the manufacture of their frames. The Bio-Resin Raw Material Process is part of their Kick Plastic initiative to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the planet's waters, their bio-resin frames are durable and lightweight.

Bajio is a relatively new brand but has many years of experience behind it, they to work very much with the environment in mind and are 100% carbon neutral. They are developing manufacturing processes from alternative materials such as castor-based bioplastic frames and coconut husk-based frames.

Fortis is one of our newest brands and offers exceptional value for money and a large range of frames and lens options.

Which Lense ColourWhich Lense Colour
There are a wide range of lens colour and frame style combinations

Which Lens Colour Should I Choose?

Blue LensBlue Lens

Blue Mirror

The perfect lens for Bluewater fishing with a high amount of reflected light. Often with a grey base lens they are equally at home on the flats.

Silver/Grey LensSilver/Grey Lens

Silver Mirror

Another great all-round lens, a silver mirror finish with a base that is mainly copper based can be a great choice for most fishing situations. 

Green LensGreen Lens

Green Mirror

Traditionally the choice for the flats fisherman but with a copper base they can be equally at home in freshwater situations.

Copper/Amber LensCopper/Amber Lens

Copper/Amber

Probably the most popular all-round colour for anglers whether they be fishing still or running water, these are the perfect choice for the freshwater fisherman.

Yellow/Sunrise LensYellow/Sunrise Lens

Yellow/Sunrise

These are perfect for low light conditions and can brighten up the darkest of days or when out for a late evening rise. Not suitable for bright conditions.


Once you have decided which lens colour is going to be best for your needs it is just a case of trying a few frames and getting a comfortable fit. Frames will range from slim fit to wide so try and find one that sits well on your head without slipping but remains comfortable to wear.

Some glasses will come with a cleaning cloth, padded case and in some instances a lanyard. If they don’t come with one, the best investment you will ever make is get yourself one. Many an angler have seen their glasses sinking away into the depths but with a lanyard this painful situation shouldn’t arise.

Whether you choose a basic pair of glasses or treat yourself to a top end pair with glass lenses it is important that you always wear them, a split second is all it takes for an accident to happen and the results can be horrific. Look after them and they will look after you! Pop into our Pall Mall store to view the range or call our mail order team on 01544 322311 to ask any questions you may have. 


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2023-04-25 10:06:00
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Comments
Harry Salmgrén
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Hi, thanks for an interesting piece. But glass - yes :-) I first ordered Action Optics already when I first found them. Interesting they were with photochromatic and amber polaroid lenses. They are by far the best I´ve had. The first ones, they replaced without any fuzz at all. I used soap to clean them and the glass both sides of the polaroid film was loosening, air coming inside. The new ones came with two hinges one usual pair for street use and the others clinging behind the ear and with shields for better shield for the sun. Since then I have had Action Optics guide lenses, Stalkers which I did love too and Smith lenses - the guide amber - well needless to say; Amber lenses are my favorite. However I still have the original Action Optics although now over 30 years and havent found nicer amber color than they have. Still alive and kicking, but nowadays I change between them all depending on the venues for fly fishing. Photochromatic is also a favorite option. Even if people now and then comment that I have forgotten to change glasses :-) From outside you do not notice the effect as your eyes get used to their adaption to less light condition. The only disadvantage with the first Optics was their weight, and the later guide version with slim bend around your face was just great, until I broke them - by then Smith had got the company and replaced them for just the postage from US to Sweden. Great service from them too. Nowadays I should have prescription glasses but my sun glasses are so great I actually still hesitate to get something that eventually just would make me dissapointed instead. But still remember the crystal clear first pair of Action Optics, and the best driving lenses in fog.
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