Probably the most overlooked piece of equipment, polarized sunglasses protect your eyes and help eliminate glare. While they aren't magic, they can greatly improve your ability to see fish holding in rivers. The filter in the lens will also filter harmful light rays and ease eyestrain. Most importantly, sunglasses protect your eyes from errant hooks, so even during low light conditions, you should wear glasses.
Glare is created everywhere. Not just on glass and water, but also on the sand, pavement, and almost every other flat surface. Glare overloads your retinas with too much information and eventually causes fatigue. Polarized lenses filter out the visual noise so that you can focus on the facts – or in our case, focus on the fish!
It's also important to understand that not all polarized glasses are the same. The color of the lens and the amount of light the lens allows in greatly impacts their effectiveness. For most rivers, we recommend a tan, copper, or brownish lens. They show greater contrast and normally allow in more light than a gray lens. When you are in bright light with clear water (as in saltwater flats fishing) a gray lens may be a better alternative in order to prevent eyestrain.
Many of the high-end glasses we sell at Cutthroat Anglers feature a polarchromic lens. These lens change contrast automatically when the conditions change, becoming darker in bright conditions and vice versa. This subtle change can create a major advantage when light conditions vary throughout a day on the water.
Other tips that will improve your fishing vision include wearing a hat with a brim that is a dark color underneath (to prevent reflection) and limiting the amount of light that enters around the sunglasses. Side shields or wrap around glasses can really help. Finally, purchase a cheap pair of eyeglass retainers as an insurance policy to help lessen your chance of losing your glasses when you lean over to land a fish.