Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses

As anglers, we are presented with countless options when it comes to choosing sunglasses. The sunglasses that work best in some scenarios like trout fishing will vary from those that excel in saltwater fly fishing environments. We’ll take a look at some of the performance benefits that different color lens can provide in various scenarios along with some of our favorite models. 

Polarized sunglasses are a crucial part of my fly fishing equipment year-round. Photo by @nikkibrockwell.

For starters, you’ll want a set of polarized sunglasses no matter where you find yourself fly fishing. The polarization on sunglasses acts to filter out horizontal light waves, which ultimately reduces the glare you get off of the water. Polarized sunglasses make spotting fish significantly easier than standard sunglasses. Regardless of brand, style, or lens color, every angler should have at least one pair of decent polarized sunglasses to help spot more fish while providing your eyes much-needed protection from harmful UV rays. There are a lot of considerations to make when choosing the best fly fishing sunglasses and I hope this simple guide will point you in the right direction.


Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses for Sight Fishing

As mentioned above, the lens color on polarized sunglasses can really make a difference in an angler’s ability to identify fish. This ability is extra critical when sight fishing for trout or bonefish that are prone to spooking easily. Brown, copper, and amber sunglass lenses are generally accepted as the best for trout fly fishing but also are great for sight fishing flats. They act as a great all-around lens that excel in differentiating well-camouflaged trout from the river bottom. 

Costa Caballito Sunglasses with 580P Copper Lenses are one of my choices.

The copper lens from Costa come in glass (580G) and plastic (580P) configurations and are a favorite of mine and many trout anglers alike. If you find yourself fishing in low light or overcast conditions, like chasing late evening trout rising to dries, yellow-tinted lenses can give you a big advantage. One thing to note for all sunglasses is that while plastic lenses are lighter in weight, they scratch far easier. For this reason along with increased clarity, I’d recommend going with glass lenses although they tend to be more expensive.  Be sure to give the Costa Caballito sunglasses with copper lens a consideration for great all-around trout fly fishing sunglasses. 

Best Fly Fishing Sunglasses for Saltwater

For saltwater anglers and even freshwater anglers that pursue fish in deeper water, lens color is a far less important characteristic to consider when selecting new fly fishing sunglasses. A traditional gray lens or even blue won’t alter your perceived colors like copper or amber that are designed to make the fish stand out, which isn’t an important characteristic if you aren’t sight fishing. 

The Costa Reefton Sunglasses are a Flylords favorite. Photo by @nateholmes_wild

Another consideration to make when selecting sunglasses is whether or not to choose mirrored or reflective lenses. This is really just a stylistic choice as there is no real added value in terms of enhancing your vision, so choose what suits your fancy. The Costa Del Mar Reefton sunglasses have been a favorite around Flylords for a while now as they have a large frame that provides maximum coverage. The Costa Reeftons come in a variety of frame and lens color combinations for the saltwater angler to choose from.

Protect Your Eyes

Picking up a pair of quality polarized sunglasses for fly fishing will not only protect your eyes from UV rays but they can also help you target and land the fish of a lifetime. While any polarized sunglasses are better than none, the reputation that Costa Del Mar sunglasses have garnered in the fishing world isn’t without merit. Lastly, don’t forget to take your polarized sunglasses with you the next time you head out on the water.

Where to buy: 

Check out the link here to shop the Costa Sunglasses store on Amazon, they can help you narrow down your decision based on what type of fishing you will be mainly doing and what style you prefer.

Alternative Brands

Some other great brands to consider would be Smith Optics and Electric. Smith is notorious for their Guide’s Choice sunglasses which provide great coverage. The Guide’s Choice Sunglasses are available in an array of lens options from blue to bronze to yellow, so there’s an option for every angling scenario you’re bound to encounter. Electric Sunglasses provide an opportunity to express yourself on the water with some less traditional styles that still perform when you need them like the JJF12 Polarized Sunglasses.

Article by Evan Garda, he is on the Content Team here at Fly Lords. He can be found chasing trout throughout the west with his trusty fly rod. Check out his adventures at @evangarda.

Best Entry-Level/Beginner Fly Fishing Rods

Best Fly Fishing Gloves


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.