If you’ve ever searched for sunglasses for fishing, chances are you quickly learned that polarization is by far the most recommended feature for your frames. But why? How do polarized sunglasses help you see fish? Our team of Sports Opticians, which includes fellow fishermen, is here to answer how polarization works and what that means for your vision while fishing.

Table of Contents

1. What Is Glare?
2. How Polarized Lenses Work
3. Do Polarized Sunglasses Actually Help You See Fish?
4. Polarized Lens Technologies for Fishing
4.1. Costa 580
4.2. Oakley PRIZM™ Polarized
4.3. Maui Jim PolarizedPlus2®
4.4. Wiley X CAPTIVATE™
5. Prescription Fishing Sunglasses Online at SportRx


What Is Glare?

Glare is your fishing nemesis. Hiding your next big catch, blinding your vision, and creating uncomfortable squinting and eye strain. But what is glare, exactly? Why does it have such a significant impact on our vision?

In general, glare is any disruption to your vision caused by excess light entering your eyes. It is created in a number of ways and has multiple levels of intensity. There are a handful of different glare types, each of which corresponds to a specific set of conditions. For fishing, we’ll be focusing on blinding glare.

Blinding glare is created by highly reflective surfaces like bodies of water, snow, and the open road. The vertical light from the sun hits these horizontal surfaces and is then reflected primarily on the horizontal plane, aka blinding glare. This level of glare is one of the most severe types because of its dramatic effect on our vision. It’s a complete hindrance to our ability to see and the main culprit of squinting and eye strain. If you are particularly light-sensitive or experience blinding glare for extended periods of time, it can also lead to headaches.

Whether you’re fishing from the dock or surrounded by water out in the deep ocean, your eyes can quickly fall victim to one of blinding glare’s greatest sources — the water. Let’s see how polarization combats it and what that means for your vision.


How Polarized Lenses Work

Polarized lenses have a chemical treatment that is applied in a vertical pattern on the lenses. This vertical pattern filters out the horizontal light to eliminate glare. By blocking the horizontal light from passing through the lens, you’ll achieve greater visual clarity and contrast, allowing you to see through the water surface more clearly. Polarization also helps to reduce eye strain and squinting, so with it, you benefit from more comfortable vision.


Do Polarized Sunglasses Actually Help You See Fish?

Now that we understand glare and how polarized lenses combat it, let’s get to the answer you came here for.

Yes. Polarized sunglasses really do help you see fish. By blocking out the blinding glare created from the water’s surface, you’re essentially using a filter to look beyond this glare and see through the water more clearly. In addition to filtering out glare, polarization also helps to enhance definition and contrast, so you can make out details with greater visual acuity.

Whether it’s spotting a bass on its bed or getting the first glance of your trophy fish while reeling it in, polarized sunglasses will give you the visual boost you need to experience the great outdoors like never before.

view of water and fish through polarized lenses compared to standard lenses

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Polarized Lens Technologies for Fishing

Our Sports Opticians love using their optical knowledge when chasing their next big catch. By carrying only the top performance brands, we have the best polarized lens technologies to choose from for fishing sunglasses. And what do we love more than using them ourselves? Sharing them with you. Here’s our recommendations for the best polarized lens technologies for fishing!


Costa 580

Costa 580 lens technology blocks 99.9% of glare, making this a fisherman favorite. It also filters out all UV rays, harmful blue light, and harsh yellow light, so you get enhanced colors and greater contrast. With all Costa 580 lenses being polarized, all you have to decide is which color to pick!

diagram of visible light spectrum and how costa 580 polarized sunglasses help you see fish

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Oakley PRIZM™ Polarized

If you’re familiar with Oakley, chances are you’re well-acquainted with PRIZM™. A leader in performance eyewear, Oakley PRIZM™ lens technology finetunes the visible light spectrum to reduce glare and increase contrast for your specific sport. While not all PRIZM™ lenses are polarized, their fishing-specific lenses are polarized. Visit our blog to learn more about Oakley PRIZM™ Polarized.

fisherman's view of water with oakley prizm lens technology and without it that show polarized sunglasses help you see fish

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Maui Jim PolarizedPlus2®

Leave it to island-based Maui Jim to enhance your view of the water and fish lurking below. PolarizedPlus2® lens technology employs a blend of three rare-earth materials to cut 99.9% of glare. You’ll receive increased contrast, clarity, and depth perception, with a boost of color. We also love the hydro/oleophobic coating that repels water and sweat. Cleaning has never been easier, meaning more time doing what you love.

image of nature with water through maui jim polarized sunglasses to show that polarized sunglasses help you see fish

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Wiley X CAPTIVATE™

The newest lens technology from Wiley X, CAPTIVATE™, filters out confusing colors on the visible light spectrum. You’ll get truer color definition, enhanced contrast, and better depth perception. With eight lens colors to choose from, pick the best match that complements your type of fishing. Our Wiley X CAPTIVATE™ Lens Guide will help you compare the lens colors and tell you more about this impressive lens technology!

fisherman on water vision through wiley x captivate lenses compared to without

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Prescription Fishing Sunglasses Online at SportRx

Now that we know, yes, polarized sunglasses do help you fish — what about our prescription wearers? Need prescription polarized fishing sunglasses? Done. When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tooltips throughout the build process as you customize the perfect pair. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips, and if you want to chat with an expert, give us a call! We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can help you build your prescription fishing sunglasses.

Ditch risky online shopping with the See Better Guarantee. Try your fishing sunglasses for 45 days. If you’re not 100% satisfied, send them back. Yes, even prescription! Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get the best polarized fishing sunglasses at SportRx today!

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