No mere fashion accessory to be added without a second thought, sunglasses are mission-critical gear for the offshore angler. Staring into the sun’s brutally harsh glare for that first sign of a bite is all part of the game, and it’s truly impossible without a good pair of polarized glasses on your face. Here are our top picks.
A. Hook Last Call
Designed by optical-industry pros who also love fishing, Hook Optics are designed to give fishermen the edge in any aquatic environment, especially offshore. Last Call was named in honor of Capt. Franky Pettolina, president of the Ocean City Marlin Club and a passionate offshore angler who passed away in 2021.
B. Parallel Zion
Based in Southern California, the Parallel Eyewear team enjoys a variety of outdoor sports, including fishing. The Zion frame in Amber Stripe really stands out, especially when combined with the BR16 Neox polarized lens, which offers glare protection, a crystal-clear image, and a perfect level of tint.
C. Costa Tuna Alley Pro
Costa’s ultra-popular Tuna Alley Pro style now comes in one of the company’s top-selling frame colorways, Tiger Shark. Pro Series upgrades include sweat-management channels and eye-wire drains, improved Hydrolite rubber, adjustable nose pads, top hooding and side shields, and metal keeper slots. Match it with either gray or green polarized glass lenses for maximum performance.
D. Fin Nor Flybridge
With classic matte-black frames and a unique silver-mirror glass lens with a gray base, the Flybridge offers a nontraditional look while also blocking glare from the sides. And less glare means it’s easier to spot that distant weed line or free-jumping sailfish—from the flybridge, of course.
E. Parallel Acadia
This style from Parallel is the most popular, simply because it looks great on just about everyone. The highly durable rubberized black frames and gray polarized Neox lenses, combined with proprietary locking hinges, offer both performance and durability in any situation.
F. Smith Shoal
Inspired by the classic ladies cat-eye designs of the 1950s, the Shoal from Smith Optics has a subtle retro feel and low-profile side shields for peripheral light coverage. The ChromaPop polarized lenses cut glare and enhance contrast to reduce eye fatigue. The Sky Tortoise frame style is shown.
G. Bajío Stiltsville
Named for a cluster of stilted shacks built in what is now Biscayne National Park just south of Miami, this style from Bajío is a favorite with all fishermen, inshore and offshore. The gray tortoiseshell frames give them a throwback feel that Stiltsville founder “Crawfish Eddie” Walker would love.
Using Pelagic’s exclusive Polarized Mineral Glass lens technology, the Kahuna features an extra-wide wraparound style that does a great job blocking side glare while also offering a clear view of the spread in any light. Also included is Tuff-Lens scratch protection for added durability. These are professional-grade optics.
Salt Life Cortez
Made in Italy with high-quality polarized lenses, the Cortez is a lightweight style that is designed to offer extreme comfort and all-day wearability. The green mirror/copper lenses cut the glare even on the brightest of days.
A brand-new ladies design for 2023, Mayfly has maximum light blockage and a wider field of view, plus fully adjustable, textured, and vented nose pads for a secure fit and fog-free lenses. With
eye-wire drains and channels, water and sweat will stay away from your eyes too.
Pelagic Fish Whistle
Utilizing a proprietary blend of elements, Pelagic’s PMG lens technology delivers the most optically correct glass lens on the market. No matter what environmental conditions you might face during the day—sunny, cloudy, wet or dry—this design provides an extra layer of protection for your eyes that you can count on, day in and day out.
Bajío’s Vega features a bold, high-coverage wrap design with wide temples to block sidelight and protect your eyes from the sun. These polarized, color-enhancing lenses with proprietary blue light-blocking LAPISTM technology cuts through the glare so you can laser-focus on the bite, all while reducing eye strain and fatigue. Lens options include seven lightweight polycarbonate colors and six in glass.
Fin-Nor North Drop
For just 10 short miles, the Puerto Rico Trench in the British Virgin Islands takes a turn north. And that’s all it takes to create the inside turn of all turns, where anglers tangle with the blue marlin and live on the covers of magazines like ours. The North Drop frames are spring-hinged, uber-comfortable, and block unnecessary light with integrated side shields. Three frame- and four lens-color (glass or polycarbonate) options available.
Costa Del Mar Rincon
Named for a world-renowned California surf break, Rincon is a hot new style from Costa that is equally at home on the blue water. Costas are a favorite among billfish enthusiasts thanks to their incredible optic clarity and durability. Shown is the matte Atlantic blue frame with silver mirror lens.
Pelagic The Mack
The Mack, shown in black matte frame and blue mirror lens, combines Pelagic’s mineral glass lens technology with its proprietary Zero-Glare polarization and Tuff-Lens scratch protection, all in a frame style that looks great on a wide variety of angler.
Pelagic Fish Hook
According to Pelagic, the XP-700 polycarbonate lenses in its Fish Hook style (shown here in green dorado color pattern with blue mirror lens) offer unparalleled visual acuity plus superlight weight to reduce fatigue. There are five layers of polarization plus an anti-reflective coating on the lenses to help cut the glare.
Maui Jim Big Wave
Big Wave features MauiPure, Maui Jim’s most popular lens material. It combines optics that are nearly as crisp as glass with light weight and excellent scratch and shatter resistance. Big Wave is shown here in a translucent matte-gray rubber frame with blue mirror lens.
Maui Jim Byron Bay
Byron Bay, another popular style from Maui Jim shown here in green-stripe rubber frame, is a perfect choice for the boat or the beach. Maui HT lenses offer extra contrast and color, while the superthin glass provides the crispest optics available, in a lens that is 20 percent thinner and lighter than standard glass. They are also scratch and solvent resistant.