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Choosing the Right Polarized Glasses

The right glasses can help get out of those tight spots when necessary.

Polarized glasses, amongst the top of important items to the fisherman. I don't leave my house without my glasses, let alone go fishing without them. There are many companies producing great sunglasses, with a plethora of frame styles and lens colors, it can be overwhelming when choosing the right pair. Here's a few guidelines to go by when picking out your next pair of shades.

How Does it Work?

Water is like a mirror, when it comes to reflection, giving off a harsh glare from the sun. Polarized sunglasses cut this glare out. This light from the sun tends to travel in all directions, but once it hits a flat surface, it becomes polarized, and the light travels in a more uniform, horizontal direction. The special filters applied to the lens of the glasses blocks out these light waves, in turn reducing the glare.


When choosing a pair of glasses, you want them to have a nice snug fit, but not too tight, this can put pressure on your temple, and can cause headaches. Make sure they hold well on the bridge of your nose, and don't slide down. I make sure my glasses have the rubber inserts on the nose, keeping the glasses from sliding, even after sweating on the boat all day. You will want to check that all light is blocked out from coming in by your brow line and on the sides. I opt for a frame with wider arm, helping keep the light out.

Polycarbonate VS. Glass

There are ups and downs to both of these lens materials. Weigh your options and see what suites you better.

Polycarbonate (plastic) lenses are light, very light. These means a light pair of glasses, which reduces fatigue and doesn't apply as much pressure to the bridge of your nose and ears. Salt spray is inevitable when on the water. With poly lenses, you must make sure to remove the salt before cleaning them, as the salt particles can cause scratches. Give a quick rinse with fresh water, or wipe with moist lens wipes, then proceed to clean with a microfiber, guaranteeing spot free shades. Poly is shatter-proof; a scratch is the worst that can happen if they fall off of your head. Polycarbonate is also cheaper to produce, making them typically cheaper to the consumer.

It has been proven that glass lenses have better optical clarity than polycarbonate. This means a better vision when looking at/into the water. Glass lenses are also very scratch resistant. So what if you take a bucket of saltwater to the face, grab a rag, wipe them off and keep fishing, don't worry about salt particles scratching your lenses.

Lens Color

The new Sunrise Silver Mirror from Costa are perfect for low light conditions.

Just about every company has their own lens colors, for good reason. Different fishing situations call for different lenses. When sight-fishing on the flats, contrast is huge, allowing you to decipher where the fish is amongst grass, pot holes and debris. A high contrast lens, such as a green mirrored or amber may be right for you.

What if you're addicted to the blue water? Maximum reduction of glare is crucial on the open ocean. If you can't see that sailfish come up on your teaser, it makes it a lot harder to catch that fish. Blue mirrored lenses combat the harsh glare of the ocean, making it ideal for hunting pelagics.

There's pretty much a lens for anything you want to do on the water, owning a couple of pairs of your favorite frame with different lenses is never a bad idea.

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