Sunday’s Classic / Choosing The Right Color Lens For Your Fishing

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Two lens colors anglers should utilize in their polarized sunglasses. Photo By: Louis Cahill

Polarized sunglasses are one of the most critical pieces of gear an angler can equip themselves with on the water. They significantly cut down the glare on the water so you can spot fish and read water more effectively. Without them an angler can feel naked and ill-equipped. Polarized sunglasses play so many important roles in everyday fly fishing, and making a point to choose the right lens color before you hit the river can end up adding or subtracting to your overall success on the water. I carry two different pair of sunglasses with me at all times. Depending on the fishing location, time of day, and available light, I’ll choose one over the other.

Yellow Lens (Low Light Conditions)

Early morning and late evening hours when the sun is low in the horizon and off the water I prefer to wear polarized sunglasses with yellow lens. They increase the contrast and brighten everything a couple notches. I also prefer yellow lens when I’m fishing heavily canopied streams. Sometimes even in the middle of the day, there are many places where the sun doesn’t penetrate the canopy, and you’ll find yellow lens are the only way to go for these shady low light conditions. Nasty weather days when its cloudy and rainy, yellow lens perform well. The winter brings with it limited sunshine on the water, since the sun doesn’t move across the horizon as high, and wearing yellow lens solves this problem. You don’t want to go 100% with a yellow lens for every day fishing though. During high light levels you won’t get the contrast you’ll need, but they do perform extraordinarily well in niche low light situations.

Amber Lens (Moderate to High Light Conditions)

If you only had the luxury to choose one color lens for fishing, there’s no better color choice than amber. Day in and day out it’s the best all around color lens for performing well in conditions across the board. Amber performs well from moderate to high level light conditions, and it copes relatively well in lower light conditions as well. Extreme low light conditions aren’t ideal for amber lens, but it’s not everyday your going to encounter those conditions. Whether your fishing saltwater or freshwater, amber is the color lens most anglers decide to wear and fish with because of its ability to perform in a wide range conditions.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “Sunday’s Classic / Choosing The Right Color Lens For Your Fishing

  1. Yellow lenses without polarization work just as well. After all, the light must be at a specific angle for it to be able to be polarized. I forget the angle, but know that early morning and late evening light cannot be polarized therefore it’s useless to pay for having them polarized.

  2. Some additional thoughts: Dark gray to green lens work better for offshore saltwater fishing. Vermillion pinkish/brown works better across a spectrum of light from bright to evening. (Glare on water @ twilight can be ferocious & despite it is almost dark, Polaroids still cut glare.) Be careful not to wear yellow Polaroids in bright sun as your irises open up too much and you will get headaches and can diminish your night vision. Ask a Navy pilot & night vision/sunglasses issues.

  3. Pingback: 11 Tips for Spotting Tarpon | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

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