May 29, 2019

In the world of angling eyewear, much attention is paid to the saltwater scene. While that technology has certainly benefited captains and hardcore salt anglers, the diehard freshwater fisherman is often left out of the conversation. While much of the same technology developed for the salt has been translated to freshwater scenarios, it’s worth knowing what works best for your particular situation. It’s most important for freshwater anglers to think about the color of lenses that best suits their fishing style, but that’s just one thing to consider.

Here’s a quick overview of how to find a pair of freshwater fishing sunglasses that will help you enjoy the sport for years to come.

Frame Styles

First, it’s necessary to recognize what kind of angler you are, and what type of frame will ensure the most comfort. Generally, you can classify frames as having more coverage or less coverage. Sunglasses that cover more of your peripheral vision and have a fuller frame are great for the boat angler, especially those who will spend time on more open water and looking over vast stretches of lakes and reservoirs for signs of fish. These frames will block excess light, but will usually be a little heavier and less comfortable if you’re more active.

On the other hand, more minimally framed glasses are lighter and typically more comfortable for active fishing, such as moving along a bank or working up and down rivers. These type of frames also allow more light in, which can be helpful for peering into the water while sight fishing. Although style may not be your top concern when buying dedicated fishing glasses, minimal frames lend themselves to classic styling, which may suit you well when headed out for drinks and tacos at the end of the day.

Choosing the Right Lenses

The lenses are the most essential part of any sunglasses. Though glass can be used for high-end fishing glasses, they are heavy and can shatter when hit or dropped. With polycarbonate lenses and EP Mirror technology, scratch-resistance is taken to a new level without sacrificing optical clarity or contrast. The mirror color on most sunglasses is applied on top of the lens where it can be easily scratched off or fade over time. EP Mirror actually has the mirror color inside the lense so it will never get damaged. In terms of what color lens to choose, here is what works best for different styles of fishing:

Copper and Yellow Lenses

For most freshwater anglers and situations, these will be the most used glasses you own. Cutting yellow light, these lenses minimize glare while increasing the contrast of reds, greens, and blues. Glasses like these will fair well in wide-open sunlight on a lake, but they’re also great when light conditions are low, like sight fishing in wooded rivers or casting to shady banks. In these situations, copper or yellow lenses like those on the Folsom or the Tahoe will allow all available light in while cutting glare and increasing contrast, giving you everything you need to spot fish.

Gray and Blue Lenses

When perched atop a center console and scanning the open ocean for wahoo or schools of baitfish, most captains prefer gray or blue colored glasses, which cut the most glare and protect eyes from the harsh, unrelenting sun while still giving the most optical clarity to choppy water. For the freshwater angler, these lenses are perfect for working a trolling pattern or searching large reservoirs for moving fish like stripers. Though bass and trout anglers are typically working structure, points, back coves, or streams surrounded by tree cover, those who chase fish like walleye, sauger, striper, or any of the species that congregate below dams need to see through turbulence and chop without relief. These lenses are versatile and available in different styles and price points so you can find the best intersection of value and your fishing needs.

Green Lenses

Green is a really useful, versatile colored lens that bridges the gap between the open-water capabilities of gray/blue glasses with the low-light clarity and ultra-high contrast of copper and yellow. Having a full-frame pair of green-lensed glasses will leave you ready for any situation that a generalist angler runs into.

Mixing and matching different styles of frames and lenses means that the choice combinations can be overwhelming. Think about how you’re most likely going to be using the sunglasses, but don’t forget to take into account your personal preferences. If you feel comfortable in a pair of sunglasses, you’re going to wear them more—and enjoy your time out on the water.

That said, Filthy Anglers sunglass options create an arsenal of eyewear that meets every fishing challenge. They’re reasonably priced, and you may just find that trying something new can make your freshwater fishing experience even better.

Written by Charlie Morgan for Matcha in partnership with Filthy Anglers and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to