Open Water Fishing Prescription Sunglasses Lens Guide

 

If you are fishing on open water a grey, blue, or silver lens will generally be your ideal lens tint as it will cut out harsh glare and offer superior visual clarity without altering color perception in bright, full sunlight conditions.  These lens tints are going to be darker and are the most comfortable lens color for long term sun exposure since they are neutral and offer no contrast which your eyes translate as brightness.  However, if you are fly fishing or sight fishing in open water where enhanced contrast if critical you will want a low light transmission brown, or copper base lens.

SaltCityOptics Recommends the Following Prescription Sunglass Lenses for Fishing on Open Water:

Recommended Smith Open Water Fishing Prescription Sunglasses Lens Tints: Blue Mirror Polarized, Platinum Mirror Polarized, Chromapop Platinum Mirror Polarized, Grey Polarchromic Techlite Glass

Smith’s Blue Mirror Polarized Prescription lenses (grey base, 12% light transmission, intense sun to sunny light): Blue mirrored lenses feature a blue base with a reflective coating on the outside of the lens that decreases the amount of light transmission even further than just the base tint. Blue mirror lenses are recommended to help reduce glare on very bright sunny days making them great for fishing.

Smith’s Platinum Mirror Polarized Prescription lenses (grey base, 14% light transmission, intense sun to sunny light): Smith’s Platinum Mirror Polarized lens tint is a grey lens with a silver mirror coating that provides true color vision without affecting light reaching the eye.  The Platinum Mirror Polarized lens performs best in bright light and intense sun conditions.

Smith’s Chromapop Platinum Mirror Polarized Prescription lenses (grey base, 14% light transmission, intense sun to sunny light): Smith’s Platinum Mirror Polarized lens tint is a grey lens with a silver mirror coating that provides true color vision without affecting light reaching the eye.  The Chromapop Platinum Mirror Polarized lens exemplifies crisp optical clarity and rich color enhancement.  This lens is best suited for cloudless, bright-light conditions.

Smith’s Grey Polarchromic Techlite Glass Prescription lenses (grey base, 12-20% light transmission, medium to sunny light): Smith’s Gray Polarchromic Techlite lenses automatically adjust in changing light conditions to sharpen detail in true colors. These lenses perform best in medium to bright light conditions. The polarized filter eliminates reflected glare from water, sand or pavement.  The Polarchromic in this lens will adjust its light transmission from 12-20% making it a good option if you are in bright light conditions with occasional cloud coverage.

Smith’s Copper Polarchromic Techlite Glass Prescription Lenses (Copper base, 13-20% light transmission, bright to medium light): Smith’s Copper Polarchromic lens tint automatically adjusts to provide increased color definition and medium contrast. These lenses perform best in medium to bright light conditions as the lens is self-adjusts according to the current light conditions. This is a copper based polarchromic lens which means it will not only enhance contrast but it will also self-adjust according to the current light conditions.  This lens will be slightly lighter than the Kaenon Copper C12 but would be recommended if you are sight fishing mostly in bright, full sunlight but do find yourself in overcast, in and out of shadows, or starting or ending in the early morning or evenings where a more versatile lens is needed.

Recommended Oakley Open Water Fishing Prescription Sunglasses Lens Tints:  Deep Blue Iridium Polarized, Gold Iridium Polarized, Black Iridium Polarized, Ice Iridium Polarized

Oakley’s Deep Blue Iridium Polarized Prescription lenses (grey base, 17% light transmission, intense sun to sunny light):  Developed specifically for fishing, Oakley’s Deep Blue Iridium lens is engineered to cut out harsh glare in a dominantly blue environment. The Deep Blue Iridium lens performs best in bright and sunny conditions on the open water. The Iridium lens coating reduces glare even more to provide better visual clarity.

Oakley’s Black Iridium Polarized Prescription lenses (grey base, 9% light transmission, intense sun to sunny light):  Oakley’s Black Iridium lens is designed to perform well in extremely bright light and is an excellent all-purpose lens for sunny conditions. The black color is a neutral lens tint which offers truer color perception while the Iridium lens coating reduces glare to provide better visual clarity.  The Black Iridium Polarized lens is the darkest lens option from Oakley and is recommended for sensitive eyes and intense sunlight conditions making it a great option for open water fishing.  The Iridium coating will also help to improve contrast.

Oakley’s Ice Iridium Polarized Prescription lenses (grey base, 9% light transmission, intense sun to sunny light):  Oakley’s Ice Iridium lens tint is designed to perform well in extremely bright light. The black color is a neutral lens tint which offers truer color perception while the Iridium lens coating reduces glare to provide better visual clarity.

Oakley’s PRIZM Tungsten Polarized Prescription lenses (brown base, 9% light transmission, intense to sunny light): This is a great another great option for a prescription polarized sunglass lens for sight or fly fishing in full sunlight as it will be a darker than the Kaenon lens.  Oakley’s Prizm Tungsten Polarized prescription lens has a brown base as opposed to Kaenon’s C12 copper base. Much like a copper base having a brown base rather than a grey base will enhance contrast that’s needed for sight fishing as opposed to deep sea fishing in bright light conditions where contrast isn’t as critical. Having a brown base lens is also ideal if you are trying to spot brown fish as it will enhance the colors of the fish.  Oakley’s Prizm Tungsten lens performs excellently in extremely bright light. The gold color is a great all-purpose contrast enhancing lens color while the Iridium lens coating reduces glare to provide better visual clarity in sunny conditions.

Recommended Kaenon Open Water Fishing Prescription Sunglasses Lens Tints:  Grey 12 Polarized, Grey 28 Polarized

Kaenon’s Grey 12 Polarized Prescription lenses (grey base, 12% light transmission, intense sun to sunny light): Grey lenses do not alter color perception like Kaenon’s other lens color options. Kaenon’s Grey 12 (G12) lenses block 88% of visible light and are the darkest lenses that Kaenon offers. These lenses perform best in bright, full sun conditions. Grey lenses are ideal for fishing in deep blue water and are the most comfortable lens color for long term sun exposure since they are neutral and offer no contrast which your eyes translate as brightness. Kaenon’s Glare 86 offers exceptional polarizing capability and tunes the essential light in any environment to your specific needs. A complex lens manufacturing process encapsulates the Glare 86 film into the SR-91 lens material, forming a bond so strong that the lens is guaranteed for life. Glare 86 provides razor sharp clarity and distortion free vision.

Kaenon’s Grey 28 Polarized Prescription lenses (grey base, 28% light transmission, sunny to medium light): Kaenon’s Grey 28 (G28) lenses are great multi-purpose lenses that perform well in all light conditions. Grey lenses are ideal for fishing in deep blue water and are the most comfortable lens color for long term sun exposure since they are neutral and offer no contrast which your eyes translate as brightness. Kaenon’s Glare 86 offers exceptional polarizing capability and tunes the essential light in any environment to your specific needs. A complex lens manufacturing process encapsulates the Glare 86 film into the SR-91 lens material, forming a bond so strong that the lens is guaranteed for life. Glare 86 provides razor sharp clarity and distortion free vision.

Kaenon’s Copper 12 Polarized Prescription lenses (copper base, 12% light transmission, low and hazy light): This is a great option for a prescription polarized sunglass lens for sight fishing in full sunlight as it will be a dark lens with a copper base. Having a copper base rather than a grey base will enhanced contrast which is essential for sight fishing as opposed to deep sea fishing in bright light conditions where contrast isn’t as critical. Copper lenses offer a high contrast tint that enhances color contrast and detail recognition. Kaenon’s Cooper 12 (C12) lenses are the darkest copper lenses that Kaenon offers. These lenses perform best in bright, full sun conditions. Copper lenses are ideal for sports that require high contrast such as fly fishing since they improve depth perception and enhance the contours of the ground.  Kaenon’s Glare 86 offers exceptional polarizing capability and tunes the essential light in any environment to your specific needs. A complex lens manufacturing process encapsulates the Glare 86 film into the SR-91 lens material, forming a bond so strong that the lens is guaranteed for life. Glare 86 provides razor sharp clarity and distortion free vision.

 

Oakley’s Deep Blue Iridium Polarized Prescription Lenses (grey base, 17% light transmission, intense sun to sunny light):  Developed specifically for fishing, Oakley’s Deep Blue Iridium lens is engineered to cut out harsh glare in a dominantly blue environment. The Deep Blue Iridium lens performs best in bright and sunny conditions on the open water. The Iridium lens coating reduces glare even more to provide better visual clarity.  We recommend this prescription sunglass lens for deep sea fishing as the majority of your fishing is done in intense, full sunlight conditions.

Smith’s Blue Mirror Polarized Prescription Lenses (grey base, 12% light transmission, intense sun to sunny light): Blue mirrored lenses feature a blue base with a reflective coating on the outside of the lens that decreases the amount of light transmission even further than just the base tint. Blue mirror lenses are recommended to help reduce glare on very bright sunny days making them great for fishing.  If you regularly fly fish in the middle of large rivers, streams, or on lakes Smith’s Blue Mirror Polarized prescription sunglass lenses are going to be a great option, they will be a darker lens that lets in less light than the Oakley Deep Blue Iridium Polarized prescription lenses.

Kaenon’s Grey 12 Polarized Prescription Lenses (grey base, 12% light transmission, intense sun to sunny light): Grey lenses do not alter color perception like Kaenon’s other lens color options. Kaenon’s Grey 12 (G12) lenses block 88% of visible light and are the darkest lenses that Kaenon offers. These lenses perform best in bright, full sun conditions. Grey lenses are ideal for fishing in deep blue water and are the most comfortable lens color for long term sun exposure since they are neutral and offer no contrast which your eyes translate as brightness. Kaenon’s Glare 86 offers exceptional polarizing capability and tunes the essential light in any environment to your specific needs. A complex lens manufacturing process encapsulates the Glare 86 film into the SR-91 lens material, forming a bond so strong that the lens is guaranteed for life. Glare 86 provides razor sharp clarity and distortion free vision.  While this isn’t a fishing specific lens like the Smith Blue Mirror Polarized or the Oakley Deep Blue Iridium Polarized lenses this is a great full sunlight polarized grey base lens and a good option for fly fishers who don’t like the esthetics of a blue lens and want a lens that can also be worn as a lifestyle lens.

 

Sight Fishing requires skill, timing, a little luck, and most importantly keen site.  The ability to have a clear view of your target so that you can cast directly in front of its mouth is crucial in sight fishing.  The characteristics of this sport make having a technical pair of prescription sunglasses not just a want but a necessity.  When looking for a pair of prescription sunglasses for sight fishing here are a few key factors to consider:

Polarization: Polarized lenses are highly recommended for any activity on the water and especially fishing. Polarized lenses reduce glare, so instead of seeing the light reflected back into your eyes it is filtered out and clarifies your vision. Polarized lenses are ideal for getting the clearest view possible while on the water.

Light conditions: Sight Fishing can be done in a variety of light conditions.  Whether you are sight fishing on a river or in open water it is important to consider your light conditions when selecting a lens tint.  For example if you are fishing on a river and are in and out of shadows a brown, copper, rose, or amber prescription lens would be best as it will increase contrast and improve depth perception.   If you are sight fishing on open water a grey, blue, or silver prescription lens would be best as it will cut out harsh glare and offer superior visual clarity in bright, full sunlight conditions.  In addition, if you are fishing from mid-day into the evening you may want to consider a polarchromic prescription lens that will automatically shift the lens tint by either increasing or decreasing the Visible Light Transmission, meaning your lens will automatically get darker as the sun gets brighter and as the sun goes down your lenses will automatically lighten.

Glass vs Polycarbonate:  Lens material is often times a personal choice.  A polycarbonate lens will be lighter and shatter proof than a glass lens, while a glass lens will be more scratch resistant than a polycarbonate lens.  You may consider a glass lens if you are fishing in sandy conditions and risk scratching your lenses with sand, or you may want a polycarbonate lens if you are wearing your glasses for long stretches and need them to be lightweight.

Our Recommended Sight Fishing Prescription Lenses for medium to sunny light conditions are:

Oakley’s Shallow Blue Iridium Polarized Prescription lenses (brown base, 19% light transmission, sunny to medium light): Developed specifically for fishing, Oakley’s Shallow Blue Iridium lens knocks down glare in shallow water conditions while improving depth perception and enhancing the ability to read underwater terrain. The Shallow Blue Iridium lenses are ideal for sight fishing on rivers, lakes or saltwater flats.

Smith’s ChromaPop Brown Polarized Prescription lenses (brown base, 14% light transmission, medium to bright):  The ChromaPop technology is most apparent in the Brown Polarized lens, offering the most enhanced contrast and amplified colorations of the ChromaPop lenses because of this the Polarized Brown is going to be best for fishing, lake and water sports.  The ChromaPop lenses will also improve the speed of visual processing, letting you see true color faster.   For Sight Fishing these lenses are going to help when fishing for trout and other brown fish.

Kaenon’s Copper 28 Polarized Prescription lenses (copper base, 28% light transmission, sunny to medium light): Copper lenses offer a high contrast tint that enhances color contrast and detail recognition. Kaenon’s Copper 28 (C28) lenses are great multi-purpose lenses that perform well in all light conditions. Copper lenses are ideal for sports that require high contrast such as fishing since they improve depth perception and enhance the contours of the ground. Kaenon’s Glare 86 offers exceptional polarizing capability and tunes the essential light in any environment to your specific needs. A complex lens manufacturing process encapsulates the Glare 86 film into the SR-91 lens material, forming a bond so strong that the lens is guaranteed for life. Glare 86 provides razor sharp clarity and distortion free vision.

Our Recommended Sight Fishing Prescription Lenses for low light conditions are:

Kaenon’s Copper 50 Polarized Prescription lenses (copper base, 50% light transmission, low and hazy light): Copper lenses enhance color contrast and detail recognition in a variety of lighting conditions. Kaenon’s Copper 50 (C50) lenses block 50% of visible light which allows maximum light transmission for the greatest detail recognition. These lenses perform best in low light and hazy conditions. Copper lenses are ideal for sports that require high contrast such as sight fishing since they improve depth perception and enhance the contours of the ground.  Kaenon’s Glare 86 offers exceptional polarizing capability and tunes the essential light in any environment to your specific needs. A complex lens manufacturing process encapsulates the Glare 86 film into the SR-91 lens material, forming a bond so strong that the lens is guaranteed for life. Glare 86 provides razor sharp clarity and distortion free vision.

Smith’s Amber Polarchromic Techlite Glass Prescription lenses (Yellow Base, 15-30% light transmission, low light): Smith’s Amber Polarchromic lens tint is a higher contrast yellow Polarchromic lens tint that enhances depth perception and gathers available light in lower light conditions. The Polarchromic lens adjusts the Visible Light Transmission as the light conditions change.  Smith’s Amber Polarchromic Techlite Glass lens is a good option for sight fishing if you are going to be in changing light conditions as the Visible Light Transmission will self-adjust from 15-30% depending on the current light condition.

Our Recommended Sight Fishing Prescription Sunglass Lenses for bright light conditions are:

Kaenon’s Copper 12 Polarized Prescription lenses (copper base, 12% light transmission, low and hazy light): This is a great option for a prescription polarized sunglass lens for sight fishing in full sunlight as it will be a dark lens with a copper base. Having a copper base rather than a grey base will enhanced contrast which is essential for sight fishing as opposed to deep sea fishing in bright light conditions where contrast isn’t as critical. Copper lenses offer a high contrast tint that enhances color contrast and detail recognition. Kaenon’s Cooper 12 (C12) lenses are the darkest copper lenses that Kaenon offers. These lenses perform best in bright, full sun conditions. Copper lenses are ideal for sports that require high contrast such as fly fishing since they improve depth perception and enhance the contours of the ground.  Kaenon’s Glare 86 offers exceptional polarizing capability and tunes the essential light in any environment to your specific needs. A complex lens manufacturing process encapsulates the Glare 86 film into the SR-91 lens material, forming a bond so strong that the lens is guaranteed for life. Glare 86 provides razor sharp clarity and distortion free vision.

Oakley’s PRIZM Tungsten Polarized Prescription lenses (brown base, 9% light transmission, intense to sunny light): This is a great another great option for a prescription polarized sunglass lens for sight or fly fishing in full sunlight as it will be a darker than the Kaenon lens.  Oakley’s Prizm Tungsten Polarized prescription lens has a brown base as opposed to Kaenon’s C12 copper base. Much like a copper base having a brown base rather than a grey base will enhance contrast that’s needed for sight fishing as opposed to deep sea fishing in bright light conditions where contrast isn’t as critical. Having a brown base lens is also ideal if you are trying to spot brown fish as it will enhance the colors of the fish.  Oakley’s Prizm Tungsten lens performs excellently in extremely bright light. The gold color is a great all-purpose contrast enhancing lens color while the Iridium lens coating reduces glare to provide better visual clarity in sunny conditions.

Smith’s Copper Polarchromic Techlite Glass Prescription Lenses (Copper base, 13-20% light transmission, bright to medium light): Smith’s Copper Polarchromic lens tint automatically adjusts to provide increased color definition and medium contrast. These lenses perform best in medium to bright light conditions as the lens is self-adjusts according to the current light conditions. This is a copper based polarchromic lens which means it will not only enhance contrast but it will also self-adjust according to the current light conditions.  This lens will be slightly lighter than the Kaenon Copper C12 but would be recommended if you are sight fishing mostly in bright, full sunlight but do find yourself in overcast, in and out of shadows, or starting or ending in the early morning or evenings where a more versatile lens is needed.