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What Polarized Sunglasses to Wear When Fishing

There are many ways people like to fish. They like to fish alone, with their family or with a group of friends. They fish in freshwater or saltwater; onshore or offshore; lakes, rivers, and oceans. Regardless of how you enjoy fishing, wearing the right polarized sunglasses can help make your time more pleasurable. Especially when you reel in a big catch on a particularly uneventful day.

Fisherman Gabe Nyblad holding a big fish while wearing his polarized sunglasses in the middle of the ocean
Wearing the right kind of polarized sunglasses can make your fishing experience more enjoyable.

Why Polarized Sunglasses?

The last thing you want to deal with when fishing is the bright sun and the annoying glare bouncing off the water. Polarized sunglasses block the glare which helps your eyes from having to constantly squint. They also increase color contrasts which help with viewing the objects clearer and seeing details that might have been missed otherwise. One of the best things about using polarized lenses when fishing is the ability to see under the water’s surface because of the blocked glare and increased contrast.

To learn more about the science behind polarization, make sure you check out the article, "What are the benefits of polarized sunglasses?".

 

fishing pole and blue polarized sunglasses on a fishing dock
Polarized sunglasses block the glare reflected off the water's surface and helps you see underwater.

Consider Your Environment

Whenever you are browsing for lenses it is vitally important to consider the environment you will be using them in. Deciding which tint and mirror color to buy can be overwhelming when starting out. As a generalization, dark grey lenses are great for offshore fishing because you want a darker coverage to block off the brightness of the sun. For inshore fishing, brown colored lenses are more appropriate because it helps with separation of color and brightens up the water to better see underneath it.

Offshore Fishing

When you are fishing offshore, you are surrounded by deep water, which means the sun’s glare is at its peak. Because of this, you want to reach towards sunglasses that make things darker. For this situation, you would want a grey tinted. The Grey lens at Fuse is great for this. Another opinion is using a blue mirrored lens because it helps to reflect light coming from the water and sky which tone down the intensity and helps with overall visibility. However, mirrored lenses need special care because the salt water can negatively affect the metal mirror coating on the lenses. There is more information about this in the “Caring For Your Sunglasses” section.

Two fisherman offshore fishing on a boat picture by Gabe Nyblad
When fishing offshore, you want sunglasses that make things appear darker, since you will be surrounded by water and intense glare. Using the Grey lens at Fuse is recommended.

Inshore Fishing

When you are inshore fishing, you want a lens that offers more color contrast instead of making things darker. That is because, unlike offshore fishing where you are surrounded by water, the glare during inshore fishing is not as intense. Seeing the fish is also more important in inshore fishing because the water is more shallow and fewer species of fish tend to live in those environments. Even though the brown will brighten up your view, it will still give you the same UV protection as a darker lens. To learn more about this make sure you check out the article on UV protectionSome of the brown based lenses we offer at Fuse are Bronze and Brown. The yellow-tinted polarized lenses also help with brightening things up. However, yellow lenses are more commonly used in low-light conditions.

a man inshore fishing Photo by Alan Bishop on Unsplash
If you are inshore fishing, you want color contrast instead of making things darker. A brown-based lens like the Brown and Bronze offered here at Fuse is what is recommended.

Tints Versus Mirrors

Lenses are available in countless numbers of lens tints and colors! Just Fuse Lenses has over 20 colors available

Tints

The tints on sunglasses are not just there for the aesthetic. Different color tints serve different purposes. Colors can be enhanced, distorted or seem completely normal based on the tint.  This is because the color of the tint affects how light is absorbed.

the view of a sunset on the water being looked at through tinted sunglasses
Different colored tints on sunglasses look nice and reflect a person's personality. However, the different tints can also enhance or distort colors.
  • Grey: This tint helps you perceive the colors in the purest form without any distortion or enhancement. It keeps your view very neutral and even. This is why it is very popular, especially in fishing. It is also the most versatile tint, so if you want multi-purpose sunglasses, grey is a great buy.
  • Brown: The brown tint helps to enhance colors, which is why it is commonly used for inshore fishing. It reduces glare and absorbs some of the blue light. The reduction of the blue light is actually very helpful in increasing contrast between the blue water and the green plant life which makes it easier to see the fish.
  • Yellow: Wearing tinted sunglasses can also be beneficial when fishing in certain weather situations. The yellow tint can help with hazy, foggy or low-light conditions by increasing contrast and making objects easier to see. On a foggy day, at dusk/dawn or on rainy days, you might find that glasses with a yellow tint help make any activity easier to do.
  • G-15: This type of lens has a grey/green tint. It improves color contrast and it helps with distinguishing the green and brown colors. Despite it having a slight green tint, it is very similar to the grey lens in the sense that it gives you a neutral view of colors.

 

Mirrors

While tints absorb light and manipulate it in various ways, mirrored lenses can actually help reflect light back. Since the light is reflected and not absorbed, the sunglasses can make objects appear brighter instead of darker. The exception to this is if the mirrors on the lenses are thick, in that case, it will be darker. Chances are if your mirrored lens is more than one color, like the Nova lenses here at Fuse, then it is usually a thicker mirrored lens. The color of the mirror is actually not as important as the tint.

Blue-green mirrored polarized Fuse plus sunglasses.
When choosing polarized lenses for fishing, you should note that the color of the mirror is actually not as important as the tint of the lenses.

Caring For Your Sunglasses

After doing the hard research on deciding what lenses to buy, the actual upkeeping of the lenses can often get neglected. Although you can always find your lens replacement here at Fuse, we want to provide you with the best service and keep your lenses in mint condition for as long as possible.

Lens Care and Cleaning

After a long day of wear, particles of dust or sand stick to the lenses. You want to blow any particles off the lenses as best as you can before attempting to wiper or clean your lenses. If the particles will not blow off or if you have salt on your lenses from a day filled with saltwater fishing, you want to run fresh water over the lenses to remove the particles of salt.

When handling sunglasses, smudges and fingerprint marks are bound to appear on the lenses. To get rid of these, you want to gently wash the lenses in mild soapy water or by using a lens cleaning spray. You want to avoid using anything that is alcohol based because it can start to affect the mirror coating on your lenses. You then want to dry the lenses with a clean microfiber bag, like the one included in every Fuse Lenses order, or use a soft cotton cloth.

cloth and spray for cleaning sunglasses from Fuse Lenses
Avoid using alcohol-based cleaners since they can actually damage the mirror coating on your lenses.

Salt Water Corrosion

Salt is actually corrosive to the metal on your sunglasses and the metal finish on mirrored lenses. If the salt water is left to dry, it can actually cause scratches on your lenses.

The combination of moisture, oxygen, and salt, especially sodium chloride, is more damaging to metal than rust. This combination eats away at the metal which weakens it and causes it to fall apart. Salt water actually corrodes metal five times faster than fresh water does. Salty, humid air corrodes 10 times faster than air with a normal amount of humidity.

After a day on the water, be sure to rinse your lenses in fresh, clean water as soon as possible to ensure the longevity of your lenses.

Summary

  • Wearing polarized sunglasses while fishing is recommended because it helps reduce glare, improve color contrast, reduce eye strain and it helps you see under the water
  • When you are offshore fishing, you want to block out the intense sunlight and reduce glare. What works best is a grey tinted lens like the Grey lens at Fuse. Mirrored lenses are discouraged because of the corrosion of salt water.
  • When you are inshore fishing you want to brighten things up because there is less intense light than offshore. A brown tint does a great job of providing protection while also giving you the best color contrast, which helps with sighting fish.
  • The tints of sunglassed affect how light is absorbed. Based on the tint of the lenses,  your view through them can have enhanced, distorted or normal colors.
  • The grey tint is versatile and is commonly used in offshore fishing. The brown helps brighten things up by increasing contrast and is used mainly for inshore fishing. The yellow tint works best for low-light conditions. The G-15 (green/gray tint) helps distinguish the colors green and brown without distorting the rest of the colors.
  • Instead of absorbing light a mirrored lens reflects light. Mirrors do not usually make things appear darker, however, if the mirror is on the thicker side it can.
When fishing in saltwater, it is always a good idea to rinse your sunglasses in fresh, clean water as soon as possible. This help prevents scratching from the salt in the water after it dries up. Salt can also be damaging to the metal frames and the metal finish of mirrored lenses.

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