Sunglasses for Fishing
There are a number of different things to consider when picking a new pair of sunglasses for fishing. Sunglasses are critical for reducing glare and protecting your eyes while on or near the water, and while they can range from twenty dollars to more than a few hundred dollars, there are several important features to consider for any pair you chose.
An interesting note about polarized glasses is they are not always the right glasses to wear outside of fishing. If you’ve ever looked at the LCD screens on gas pumps with polarized glasses, you’ll notice you can’t read the numbers as well. This same polarizing effect can create problems for pilots and downhill skiers because reducing the glare can also make it difficult to see the contrast between light and dark. Another odd effect can occur when wearing polarized glasses while driving a car with tinted windows. The sunglasses work against the polarizing in the window tint to create a kind of oil slick look.
The Role of Color in Fishing Sunglasses
Sunglasses come mirrored, slightly mirrored, and without mirroring. The glasses we wear for fishing have mirroring or slight mirroring. The heavily mirrored glasses are also colored. The color of the mirror is not really critical to their function, although most manufacturers are now leaning toward green for inshore glasses and blue for offshore. They even have a new silver mirroring, though regardless of color, the mirroring simply provides another means of filtering glare and the sun’s reflection.
More important than the exterior is the interior color of the glasses. The interior of the sunglasses you choose for inshore fishing should have different color than those you choose for offshore fishing.
Interior Colors for Inshore Fishing Sunglasses
The interior of glasses for inshore fishing should be copper or what manufacturers call rose. There is a middle color between copper and rose called vermillion, but just remember copper or reddish are good for inshore. As mentioned previously, many manufacturers are mirroring the exteriors of glasses in green, amber, or other colors for inshore, but if you are fishing inshore–in 12 feet or less of water–glasses with one of the aforementioned interior colors will improve the contrast in the water column, as well as your chances of seeing fish and structure.
Interior Colors for Offshore Fishing Sunglasses
Mostly mirrored blue on their exteriors, offshore fishing sunglasses have gray or smoke interiors. The color of the exteriors is so strong in both cases that some manufacturers are now making them neutral on their exteriors and excluding strong mirrors. Glare is always an issue, though, and offshore the glare can be murderous.
Picking the Perfect Fishing Glasses: Product Lines or Real Science?
There has been a lot of science involved in developing functional product lines for color and contrast sensitivity, and those of us who fish inshore and offshore on a regular basis can definitely see a difference. In shallow water, copper interiors work well, and in deep water, where detailed shapes are not as important as glimpses of moving darkness or flashes of silver, gray interiors seem to work better. While we have both, if we had to choose one over the other, we would use copper interiors for both inshore and offshore. They do make a yellow-based interior lens, but it is intended only for use in low light conditions.One other note about the exterior colors and heavy mirrors: they are not very fashionable. If you are wearing the wrong color shirt with the wrong color glasses, you can stick out on a boat like a sore thumb. So if color matters, go with the non-mirrored (or slightly mirrored) neutral exteriors. You won’t catch any more fish but you might catch more eyes.