How to Order Prescription Sunglasses

How to Order Prescription Sunglasses Online (A Fisherman’s Guide)

Hey there, David here. If you’ve read about the products I love, you’ll find that I tested a whole pile of fishing sunglasses. You know the thrill of casting into the dawn’s early light and the anticipation of an afternoon hatch. But the sun’s glare can make spotting that elusive trout a real challenge. That’s where the perfect pair of prescription fishing sunglasses comes in.

This guide will help you reel in a pair online, ensuring that even the harshest sun won’t come between you and the catch of the day. Let’s dive in!

Smith Guides Choice Sunglasses Review
Read about my favorites πŸ‘‰ Smith Guides Choice Sunglasses Review

Guide Pro Tip: I absolutely love my Guides Choice Sunglasses and guess what, they are prescription. Follow along on the Smith Website using this link πŸ‘‰ Smith Optics Guides Choice Prescription Sunglasses

1. Decoding Your Eyeglass Prescription

Cast that fly, we need to understand the lay of the land or in this case, the terms on your prescription. It’s like reading the tide; it might be a little tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.

You’ve got stuff like ‘OD’ (that’s Latin for ‘oculus dexter’ or right eye), ‘OS’ (‘oculus sinister’, or left eye), and ‘PD’ (pupillary distance). There’s also ‘Sphere’, ‘Cylinder’, and ‘Axis’. Once you’ve got your prescription details, you’re ready to cast off.

An eyeglass prescription may look like a confusing mix of numbers and abbreviations, but it’s pretty straightforward once you know what each term means. Below is an example of what a typical prescription might look like:

SphereCylinderAxisPD
OD (right)-2.75-0.501534.5
OS (left)-2.500 (sphere = 0)034
ADD (for Progressive)+2.50

Here’s what each term means:

OD: Oculus Dexter, the Latin term for the right eye.

OS: Oculus Sinister, the Latin term for the left eye.

Sphere (SPH): This number, measured in diopters, represents the degree of correction you need if you are nearsighted or farsighted. A minus sign before the number means you are nearsighted, and a plus sign means you are farsighted.

Cylinder (CYL): This number indicates the amount of lens power for astigmatism. If this column is blank, it means you don’t have astigmatism.

Axis: This number, between 1 and 180, describes the angle in degrees of your astigmatism. The number has no unit of measure; it is merely a directional marker.

PD: This stands for Pupillary Distance, which is the distance between the centers of your pupils. It’s usually measured in millimeters. Sometimes you might need to make a call to get this or do it yourself here πŸ‘‰ https://www.lenscrafters.com/lc-us/how-to-measure-your-pd

ADD: This is the added magnifying power applied to the bottom part of multifocal lenses to correct presbyopia. The number appearing in this section of the prescription is always a “plus” power, even if it is not preceded by a plus sign.

This is a common format for an eyeglass prescription, but the order of these categories might vary depending on the prescribing doctor. Note that contact lens prescriptions are different and have additional measurements to eyeglass prescriptions.

Guide Pro Tip: Check out my article on the best fishing sunglasses -Yes many have prescriptions πŸ‘‰ Best Fishing Sunglasses (With Videos)

2. Picking the Perfect Frames – Makes All the Difference

Choosing the right frame is like choosing the perfect fly. You want something that fits you and your style. Consider the frame’s shape, size, and color. It’s all about complementing your features. Got a pair you love already? Many retailers offer lens replacement services, and they’ll just swap in your new prescription.

Select Frames and Lenses for Smith Optics
Select Frames and Lenses for Smith Optics
  1. Comfort and Fit: Choose frames that fit well and are comfortable for long hours. Consider features like padding on the nose and ears and temple arms that fit snugly without too much pressure. Light weight is also a key factor for all-day comfort.
  2. Lens Quality: Look for sunglasses with high-quality lenses designed for fishing. The lenses should have high polarization to reduce glare, UV protection to protect your eyes, and an optimal Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage that allows enough light through for better contrast.
  3. Durability: Features such as flexible plastic frames, spring hinges, and scratch-resistant lenses contribute to the sunglasses’ lifespan. Glasses with these features are likely to withstand the rigors of fishing and last longer.
  4. Side Shields: Having a larger side shield is going to cut down peripheral sun glare.  Those tiny temple arms are stylish but to really provide optimum performance bigger is better.
  5. Extra Features and Warranty: Special features like the ChromaPop+ lenses, which enhance color and contrast, can make a significant difference. Also, check for warranties covering manufacturing defects, which adds to the value of your investment.

In a nutshell, your perfect frames should be comfortable, durable, and have high-quality lenses with beneficial features. Remember, it’s an investment for your fishing adventures, so choose wisely.

What do I wear? πŸ‘‰ Prescription Smith Guides Choice they are awesome!

3. Selecting Your Perscription Type

Select your prescription type. This is usually either SINGLE VISION or PROGRESSIVE I’ll select Progressive to make this more complicated. Plus I need it! Progressive will usually cost more.

Select Prescription Type Single or Progressive
Select Prescription Type Single or Progressive

4. Selecting Your Lenses – That Will See Fish

The lenses are at the heart of a great pair of sunglasses for fly fishing.  Think about that early morning glare or those evening hatches.  Believe me, great sunglasses make all the difference. 

Select Lens Type - Chromapop is FREE
Select Lens Type – Chromapop is FREE
  1. Lens Tint and Polarization: Choose brown or bronze tints for enhanced contrast and depth perception. Polarized lenses reduce water glare, making it easier to spot fish.
  2. Lens Material: Glass lenses provide superior clarity and scratch resistance, but if you prefer lightweight and impact resistance, consider polycarbonate or Trivex lenses.
  3. UV Protection: Look for lenses that offer 100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes during long fishing hours.
  4. Lens Coatings: Extra coatings such as anti-reflective, water-repellent, anti-scratch, and smudge-resistant can improve lens functionality and durability.
  5. Visible Light Transmission (VLT): A VLT of 14% is ideal for fishing, allowing enough light for visibility while providing sun protection.
  6. Advanced Lens Technologies: Lenses with technologies like Smith Optics’ ChromaPop+ can enhance contrast and color clarity, making fish spotting easier.

4. Inputting Your Prescription – Step by Step

Now you’re ready to drop your line and input those prescription details into the website. Take your time with this step. You wouldn’t want to rush, but no worries you’ll get a chance to confirm everything before placing your order.

I usually lay my prescription next to me as I fill this out. I like double checking the order to the original document.

1. Now input the base prescription

Input Prescription
Input Prescription

2. Next add your Pupillary Distance (PD) This could be either a single number or two numbers.

Enter Pupillary Distance Values (PD)
Enter Pupillary Distance Values (PD)

If you need help getting the PD, call your Eye Care Professional, check out πŸ‘‰ https://www.lenscrafters.com/lc-us/how-to-measure-your-pd or πŸ‘‰ https://www.zennioptical.com/measuring-pd-infographic for easy instructions. If you get +/- 1mm you’ll be fine.

5. Double Checking Everything – Just like Testing Your Knots

We’re almost at the end. After choosing your frames and lenses, review your order carefully before confirming. Check your prescription details and the frame and lens options you’ve chosen to ensure they’re accurate.

Review Selections for Order
Review Selections for Order

Guide Pro Tip: I’m going to make a suggestion at this point search Google for something like “Promo Code for YOUR BRAND SUNGLASSES” There’s going to be a good chance that you can reduce what this will cost.

6. Checkout – Check It All Again and Pay

Review Cart and ADD PROMO CODE
Review Cart and ADD PROMO CODE

Once you’re satisfied with your order, proceed to enter your payment details in the secure checkout portal of the online retailer. After confirming your payment, all that’s left is to wait for your custom prescription sunglasses to arrive at your doorstep.

After Your Order – 100% (30 day Return)

Once your sunglasses arrive, you’ll want to ensure they fit well, and your vision is crystal clear. Most online retailers have a great return policy, so you can send ’em back if you’re not entirely satisfied. Remember, try to keep the sunglasses in “NEW” condition. I suggest holding on to all the stickers, labels and tags just in case.

Typically the return policy extends for 30 days so – at least that’s how it works for Smith Optics Return

Look at the details you can see in the water - glare is cut WAY down
Polarization Look at the details you can see in the water – glare is cut WAY down

Looking to Learn More About Fishing Sunglasses?

Here’s a complied list of articles related to fishing sunglasses. Be informed about what you’re getting.

πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘‰ Glass vs. Plastic: Which Lens Is Best for Your Next Fishing Trip
πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘‰ Seeing is Believing: Are Mirrored Sunglasses Good for Fishing?
πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘‰ What’s the Best Lens Color for Fishing Sunglasses?
πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘‰ Protect Your Eyes and Catch More Fish: A Guide to UV-Blocking Sunglasses
πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘‰ A Fishing Guides’ Secret: How Polarized Sunglasses Help You Spot Fish
πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘‰ The Power of Visual Light Transmission in Fishing Sunglasses

Something Extra – As Easy As Asking

You know how sometimes you find a great fishing spot you just have to revisit? Online retailers often have offers for replacing lenses in your favorite frames. They can even customize lenses for new frames if you fancy a fresh look.

One More Cast with Prescription Sunglasses

Following the steps we’ve cast out in this guide, you’ll not only be equipped with the knowledge of how to order prescription sunglasses online, but also, you’ll have the ability to customize them to your fishing needs. This way, you’re not just buying sunglasses, you’re enhancing your fly fishing experience.

I’ve said it a bunch in this article, but once more. I highly recommend the (link πŸ‘‰) Smith Guides Choice. They’ve improved my catch rate and I know through my testing they’re protecting my eyes.

So, next time you head out into the open water, you won’t just be armed with the right gear and bait, you’ll have the perfect prescription sunglasses to hook that elusive rainbow trout. After all, the right gear makes for better catches, and in this case, a clearer and safer vision makes for a better angler.

Tight lines and clear sights, fellow angler! Here’s to you hooking the perfect pair of prescription sunglasses and reeling in the catch of a lifetime.


Are you looking for some great How To Fly Fish Articles? Checkout this list:


Hi David Humphries Owner of Guide Recommended. I love everything to do with fly fishing. Casting, Tying, YouTube, writing about it and even teaching. I’ve got a FREE video workshop teaching how to dry fly fish at this link How 2 Fly Fish

Additional Reading and Resources

Scroll to Top