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Are Polarized Fishing Glasses Just Hype When It Comes To Seeing Through Water?


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I have a few pairs from Wiley X i got on really good sales, first is the Ozone Climate Control (for those windy windy days) the lenses say gray but are closer to black. The second is the Omega Jacob Wheeler signature edition with green mirror on the outside and amber/brown on the inside.

 

Now i mainly wear the Omegas fishing, and these glasses make such a difference. Its really amazing and i can see inside and at night with them too.

Which really helps when i start coming back to launch on the kayak when the sun starts going down.  They are ANSI rated and fit my head shape very good, plus i really care about the UV protection polarized glasses give.

 

But ive seen many videos and hear people talking about how they caught "this fish or that fish" from seeing it in the water with their polarized glasses and so far by doing various tests i can only see as far into the water with these as i could with my regular prescription glasses. It doesnt cut through the water like ive heard or saw on youtube videos. I ive fished with them in a few different lakes/ponds on cloudy days, sunny days, rainy days, windy days, calm day. Standing above the water while bank fishing, and sitting low in a kayak and these just dont do it.

 

Is it the brand? The color on the lenses? Or just marketing hype to get you to buy them?

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I have polarized sunglasses from Oakley, Onus, Costa, and generic.  All help me see below the surface better than the naked eye.  None are the X-Ray Specs that some writers might have you think.  Off-colored water (even slightly) makes the difference  less pronounced.

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Polarized lenses work by filtering polarized light.  Sunlight, by itself, is not polarized.  But as it bounces off a flat, reflective surface, it can become polarized.  So polarized lenses can help to reduce the glare that you get on the surface of the water.  And this can help you see deeper into the water.  

HOWEVER, it really only works if the sun is behind or in front of you.  If the sun is off to the side, they won't really work (well sometimes if you tilt your head at the right angle they can).  And if the water is stained or muddy, it won't help you to see through it any better, as polarized lenses do nothing to help that.  So the sun's got to be at the right angle and you've got to have somewhat clear water for it to work better than regular sunglasses.  

 

So it's not just a marketing gimmick.  It actually works.  To see a better example, look at an LCD screen through polarized lenses.  The light coming off an LCD screen is polarized.  So usually, if you look straight on, you can see clearly through the lens.  But if you spin the lens around, the screen will go dark and then lighten back up depending on the angle.  Usually, they're set up so that the screen darkens when the lens is turned 90°.  But sometimes, like on my fish finder, it's less.  My fish finder darkens at about 50° clockwise, so I sometimes have to tilt my head to the left to see it better with my polarized lenses on.  That's a design flaw Lowrance should have anticipated and corrected, but whatever.  

 

Polarized lenses don't block UV light by their nature.  They need a special coating to block UV light.  So while some polarized lenses will block UV light, not all will.  And since it's just a coating (or sometimes the material of the lens itself), it's not uncommon to find non polarized lenses that also block UV light.  They even make regular glasses that aren't sunglasses that block UV light.  You have to look for that feature separately and not just assume that they always go together.  

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@Bankc amazing info, the one lake i fish the sun is always at one side or the other never in front or behind (odd shaped lake) and the others arent super clear either. Probably most vary between 1-3' visibility tho i do have 1 lake thats clear 10' down. But we have also had alot of rain lately too.

And i bought those Wiley X's for a few reasons one of which was "Every pair of sunglasses offers 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays "

I guess for most of my lakes their being able to see through the water better wont be working but im still happy with them, just wouldve been a nice feature to have.

Thanks for the info really, appreciate it.

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Yeah I mean they definitely work but we don't always see what they are revealing.  Bass are pretty dang good at trying to be unseeable in a variety of ways.

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I keep going back to a polarized set of Oakley's every time and it can be night and day difference in what you can see under most conditions. Plenty of times I try to point something out to whoever is in my boat and if they dont have polarized glasses on they have no idea what I'm talking about until I hand mine over.

 

Some argue different colors will cut better in certain water conditions but I've never tried anything like that yet.

 

You can buy a cheap set of polarized sunglasses just to test the waters (hehe) and then invest in a decent pair if you think its worth it. 

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In short, no, but the hype over other stuff can be real. The only difference in price points is the coating and lens material - the linear polarization is the same. I wear Maui Jim exclusively, but carry a couple of cheap $20 pairs around and they work as well at cutting glare. 

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Are Polarized Fishing Glasses Just Hype When It Comes To Seeing Through Water ?

IMO, No, not hype.

My rig sits pretty high off the water,

I fish standing up,

I fish mostly super clear water,

add a quality pair of shades and there's plenty to 'see' in the water and on the bottom.

I wear Onos with 'readers'.

Invested in Amber lens (low light) Blue mirror lens (Brightest conditions) & a pair of black/grey lenses;

decent for just about everything else. 

🤓

A-Jay

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8 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I have to look into those readers. I'm there, lol. 

I have a peanut head and these guys make frames for 'small faces'.

So happy I don't have to get my sunglasses from Toy 'R' Us any more

😎

A-Jay

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I think the height you're at, and thus the angle you are looking from, matters as well. I feel like when standing on a boat I can see much better under water than when sitting in kayak, or standing really. Just being higher seems to make a big difference, which makes sense because if you think of standing on a bridge over a creek you can see way better than just from standing beside the creek. Clear water matters though as others have said. Lots of factors involved. I've definitely seen fish with them, but it's definitely not miraculous, it's not like thermal imaging or something lol (that's more FFS)

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@FishTax i wasnt expecting to see bass with them, mainly just some panfish, shallow structure or tree branches in the shallower lakes and ponds i fish to give me an idea on where to cast.

 

But most of the lakes and ponds i fish just dont have the clarity many of the above commenters have.

They arent dirty water, its just 1-4' visibility most of the time. With or without polarized glasses.

Although there is a 20' deep pond that you can see a pink senko halfway down with regular glasses so ill have to try them there.

 

But for the creeks they should do great at seeing trout.

 

Also to you guys up north or south even with that really clear water whats the prices of homes? Just joking, well for now atleast.

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I use polarized dark grey for my everyday sunglasses when outdoors.

What is important to me is light weight shatter proof glass prescription . Glass because I am prone to dropping them and glass doesn’t scratch easily as polycarbonate. Easier to clean.
I have a pair of dark amber Maui Jim’s off the shelf for over cast days when sight fishing because the amber helps to see green better underwater.

You mis too much in the water fishing without polarized sunglasses, feel blind without them,

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Very Clear, clean water can be a double edged sword.

Fun to see everything, but fishing it successfully

often requires a specific approach. 

 

large.955725052_Release(2).png.c5b74f688d8687706e271cc15cd9252a.pnglarge.825208788_release1cleanBR.png.34583b09832b55293538f76bfc79dd9a.pnglarge.1534438712_13Aug20185.88smbrelease3BR.png.06f67e81c4ee39ec40bdde47c981cc56.png

:smiley:

A-Jay

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7 hours ago, Functional said:

Some argue different colors will cut better in certain water conditions but I've never tried anything like that yet.

 

You can buy a cheap set of polarized sunglasses just to test the waters (hehe) and then invest in a decent pair if you think its worth it. 


I’m not so sure it’s different colored water conditions as it is different colored sky conditions. Certain lenses are better for bright sun and certain lenses are better under cloudy conditions. And yet some are more all purpose.

 

For years, I was convinced it wasn’t worth buying a nicer pair of fishing shades because I would scratch them and lose them. So I simply bought $20 ones every April and used them until October, and got rid of them.

 

In 2018, fake Santa (my wife) brought me Costa Fantails. I’ll never go back to cheapies again. The clarity and quality is astonishing and the underwater realm opened up when I began using those 6 years ago. I am a customer for life.

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@gimruis ahh yes that was it. I was drawing a blank when I was trying to type that. 

 

I was that way for a while also and then I needed a ansi rated set motorcycle riding and bought Oakley and it was a big difference. The clarity made almost as much of a difference as the polarizing. 

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Rarely do I fish without them and carry several pairs in the boat for different conditions.

 

Allen

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I never have but but was thinking of buying some to see if my vision clarity improves ?

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At the very least wear UV coated protection. I know a few old timers that have had their eyelids removed due to cancer from sun exposure. 

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I wear prescription glasses. I got mine from eyebuy direct. I have worn glasses and contacts for 15 ish years now. My prescription sunglasses are uv, polarized, non transitional blue/black in color. I’ve also tried a ton of different brands for when I wear my contacts. In my experience no brand compares even remotely close to my prescription glasses. Color doesn’t make a difference but the quality of filtering the lenses have does. I also find the size of the lense and how it fits my face makes a big difference. The more light that can get to the lenses from around my head the worse the do like if the sun is behind me. Some of that’s simple to fix wearing a hat or hoodie. As far as actually being able to see depths that’s based on water clarity and how the sun light is filtered. If you ask people with bow fishing rigs they will tell you light setups are pick more by the color of light than watts. The color of light put off by high psi sodium lights tends to give the most light penetration vs white light which is more easily reflected and gives much less penetration.

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I’m just like Rowdy Roddy Piper when I put my glasses on (1980’s Bill Dance models) and see the truth that’s hidden under the water! They live!! 

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