How to choose the right pair of sunglasses for fly fishing

It’s important to find a pair of sunglasses that are suited for the environment you’ll be fishing. The same shades you’d use for fishing a high mountain stream probably aren’t the same ones you’d use deep sea fishing. A nice pair of glasses can be the thing that separates you from seeing that 20-plus inch trout or mistaking it for another log in the river. With that being said, if you are going to invest your money in a nice pair of shades we recommend finding a pair that works best for you. When looking for a new pair of sunglasses make sure that the lenses and frame style match up with the requirements of your activities. Perhaps most importantly, find a pair of sunglasses that fit you comfortably and will not give you a headache.

What to know about buying sunglasses:

The number one reason you should be wearing sunglasses is to cut glare! Yellow light is your enemy out on the water. Polarized glasses attempt to minimize the yellow light while maximizing the red, blue, and green lights. Red, blue, and green lights are helpful at enhancing depth perception and spotting fish in the water.

The second reason you should be wearing sunglasses while fly fishing is safety! You should always have a pair of glasses on when fishing to protect your eyes from any hooks or weights flying back at you. Sunglasses are both an investment and insurance against injury.

Things to consider when buying new glasses:

Lens Color: Many lenses have a base lens and then a mirror over it. As an example, you could buy a pair of glasses with gray lenses or gray lenses with a green mirror. Many lenses either have an amber/copper or gray base lens.

Gray – Mostly used for general, everyday glasses and bright sunny days.

Copper/Amber – Very popular color for its versatility. They are made to cut glare from the water.

Blue Mirror – For bright, full-sun situations on open water and offshore. Popular for saltwater fishing.

Green Mirror – Great glasses for high contrast vision. This is ideal for inland fishing or flats fishing to spot those sneaky trout and bonefish.

Silver Copper Mirror – This lighter lens can be used for stream fishing and at times with varying light, such as fishing from dusk through sunset.

Silver Sunrise Mirror – Specifically made for sunrise and sunset fishing. These glasses allow more than 50% more light than the gray or gray lenses, which makes them ideal for mousing at night.

Lens Material: Sunglasses will mostly either be plastic or glass lenses. Plastic lenses are much lighter, but scratch and damage much easier. Glass lenses are more scratch resistant, but also heavier and more expensive than plastic ones.

Frames: Frames are an essential part of the glasses, not for just looks but functionality. Thin aviator frames can be great to wear to the beach, but do very little to block light. When looking for fishing sunglasses look for something with a wide frame on the side that will block the sunlight from hitting your eyes. Some frames are more square or boxy than others. Ideal fishing glasses will be more rounded to fit the shape of your head. This once again will cut the amount of light that will hit your eyes.

Fit: Find a pair of glasses you will be comfortable wearing 10 hours a day. Finding the right size is very important as many glasses come in different sizes. Be sure to look at the dimensions of the glasses. Different companies rate the size of their glasses either on the width of the frame from ear to ear OR base the size on how much it covers your face. To ensure your glasses are comfortable make sure that you have a frame style, frame material, frame size, and lens material that match your preferences.

So what’s the ideal pair of sunglasses for the Pere Marquette River?

Guides like the amber/copper glass lenses with or without green lenses for high contrast. Silver Copper Mirror glass lenses are also a popular choice. Most like a frame that fits their head snug and have a wider profile to block sunlight.

Costa Promotion:

Right now in the fly shop if you buy a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses at the shop and receive either a Bluetooth speaker or an external battery with a solar panel for FREE! Click here for more info.
More information on costa glasses for fly fishing can be found on the Costa Fly Fishing page.

By Dylan Willetts