It doesn’t matter if you fish fresh or salt. When you’re hunting down fish your eyes are one of your greatest assets. And there’s no better way to boost your natural eyesight than with a pair of high-quality polarized sunglasses.
To help make your search for the ultimate fly fishing sunglasses a little easier, here are four models that will optimize your vision in a range of different fly fishing scenarios.
Best Overall Sunglasses for Fly Fishing Smith Optics Guides Choice Sunglasses
If money isn’t a concern and you want the best. My choice is the Smith Optics Guides Choice Sunglasses link to Check Amazon. These sunglasses have super high reviews and score 4.5 thumbs up!
If you head out to fish whenever you get a free day regardless of what the weather’s doing you need glasses that can adapt to the light conditions at hand. That’s exactly what the Techlite Glass Polarchromatic lenses by Smith do.
Smith developed the Techlite Polarchromatic lenses specifically with fly anglers in mind. The lenses are available in several colors but if you’re going for versatility, copper is what you want. Unlike normal copper polarized lenses, however, the Techlite Polarchromatics are self-adjusting, darkening and lightening automatically according to the light conditions. So when that mid-afternoon storm rolls in, you’ll still enjoy the same clear vision you had when the sun was out in full force.
The Techlite Polarchromatic lenses are made with a special glass that’s 12 times more scratch resistant than plastic lenses and 20 percent lighter than traditional glass. They also have an anti-reflective coating to greatly reduce eye strain.
Smith Techlite Polarchromatic glass lenses are available in many of Smith’s frames choose whichever looks and feels best to you. If you need a recommendation, I like the Guide’s Choice frames as they offer great wrap-around for maximum protection and have broad temples to reduce light intrusion from the sides.
The bottom line is if you want to buy a single pair of sunglasses to cover the vast majority of the fishing you do, go with the Smith Techlite Polarchromatic glass lenses in the copper color.
Best Sunglasses for Low-Light Fly Fishing Maui Jim Banyans Polarized Sunglasses
We all know that dusk and dawn bring the hottest fishing action. But if the light’s so low that you can’t see anything, your chances of getting tangled or snagged are much greater than your chances of connecting with a fish. Fortunately, there is a pair of sunglasses made specifically for coping with frustrating-but-lucrative low-light conditions the Maui Jim Banyans Polarized Sunglasses <-link to check the competitive Amazon prices
The “HT” refers to the lenses of these well-made glasses and stands for “High Transmission.” Basically, the lenses are designed to let lots of light pass through to the eye while blocking certain light frequencies to help you see better in dim light. Not only will these lenses give you an advantage in the early morning and late evening, but anytime you’re fishing under heavy cloud cover or below a thick forest canopy, you’ll get a visual boost to help you cash in on fish.
The HT lenses are offered in many of Maui Jim’s frame designs, but we feel the World Cup frames are one of the best choices for fly anglers. They offer great wrap around coverage and have wide arms at the temples to help block side-entering light.
If you go for the Maui Jim HT’s make sure you get the actual “HT” lenses you’ll also see them labeled as simply “green.”
Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses for Full Sun Smith Chromapop Bronze
As soon as they were released, the Smith Chromapop – Link to Amazon for a price check lenses quickly gained favor among fly anglers. While they do work well as all-purpose fly fishing sunglasses, it’s under the blaring sun that DOVER Smith Chromopop lenses outperform any other lens currently available.
The “pop” in Chromopop comes from the color-blocking technology used in the lens construction that yields a distinct “pop” in visual clarity and color contrast. What sets the Chromopop lenses apart from other lenses that use color blocking technology is that instead of blocking single color frequencies, the Chromopops specifically filter out what Smith calls “color confusion” which occurs where green and red wavelengths converge.
Again, this technology is beneficial in practically all light conditions, but it’s most pronounced under full sun. For this reason, the Smith Chromopop lenses are a huge hit among saltwater flats anglers chasing bonefish, permit, or GT’s if you do a lot of sight fishing, the Chromopop lenses will take your efforts to the next level.
The one shortcoming of the Smith Chromopop lenses is that they’re made of plastic instead of glass, so optical clarity and scratch resistance is slightly reduced. However, the plastic used in the lenses is Trivex which is widely held as the best there is in the sunglasses industry.
Smith Chromopop lenses are available in several different colors, but for the angler who fishes under full sun conditions, the bronze lenses are the best bet. Chromopop lenses are offered in most of Smith’s frames some favorites for fly fishing are the Guide’s Choice, Captain’s Choice, or if you want to keep things old school, go with the Serpico 2.0 Aviators.
Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses for Women Costa Trevally
Light weight, stylish and amazing polarization, the Trevally are hand built for a female’s perfect fit. The Costa Del Mar Trevally Sunglasses – link to check Amazon prices are highly recommended.
Attention all fish-crushing ladies out there: You don’t have to put up with loose-fitting men’s polarized sunglasses anymore.
The Costa Trevally sunglasses are one of the many frame options in Costa’s line of women’s polarized sunglasses. They’re available with all of Costa’s premium lenses including the 580G’s we highlighted previously.
The frames have a lightweight, sporty profile yet have enough wrap around for maximum protection and visual enhancement. Best of all, they’re designed for to fit woman which means more focus on fishing, less on keeping the glasses on.
Need Help Choosing Lens Color?
While we highlighted some specific colors of the polarized lenses we feel are the best for fly fishing, each lens is available in different colors that may be better suited for your unique style of fishing. For additional insight on lens color, check out our post on selecting sunglasses that walks you through everything you need to know!
Recommended Sunglasses for Fly Fishing
I’ll make this short, If you’re going to make the leap to spend a little bit extra on seeing fish, feel absolutely confident that the Smith Optics Guides Choice Sunglasses (link Amazon for price check) will help you see more fish and have more hook-ups.