Many people ask why they should wear polarized sunglasses when fishing. The first thing I ask them when this question comes up is, “what type of fishing do you do most of the time”, because the answer to this question determines whether or not you even need polarized sunglasses. Some anglers don’t need polarized sunglasses, because seeing into the water isn’t an advantage to them because of the type of fishing they engage in.
Polarized sunglasses enable you to see into the water, which is an advantage to fly fishermen, many bass fishermen, most wading fishermen, and any sight fishing angler. Seeing into the water is also an advantage after a fish is hooked to estimate the species and size of the fish.
Polarized sunglasses work by eliminating the glare caused by the sun refracting off of the water. Without the glare caused by the suns rays, you can see into the water. For example, I spend 90 % of my fishing time wading in rivers. In addition to seeing fish, my polarized glasses enable me to see rocks under the water much more clearly. This makes wading much more safe and easy.
One lesson I learned many years ago about polarized sunglasses for fishing is that you get what you pay for. I realize that this adage gets used a lot, but it’s nonetheless true when it comes to fishing glasses. Polarized fishing glasses that are on the low end of the cost spectrum never, and I repeat never, work properly. In many cases they distort your vision and even cause headaches and such. When it comes to polarized sunglasses, especially for fishing you get what you pay for.
Plan on spending at least $100 for a quality pair of glasses that are suitable for fishing. If this sounds like too much money, consider the fact that if you spend good money you will take great care of your new purchase. Plus quality glasses tend to last for many years. Some quality manufacturers of polarized glasses include; Native Eyewear, Smith, and Oakley. Stick with a quality manufacturer and you will be happy with your purchase for many years.
Depending on your favorite fishing style these sunglasses can be an integral part of your fishing gear. If you think that seeing into the water would be to your advantage as an angler, quality polarized fishing glasses are a must have item.
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 25 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his five year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country.