Polarized sunglasses are one of the most important accessories that you must always carry with you when going on a fishing trip.
A lot of people who are new to fishing may think that a regular pair of sunglasses will do just fine, but the truth is, it won’t..
Water can cause serious damage to your polarized lenses, particularly mirrored ones.
Each pair of sunglasses has its own specific cleaning guidelines that you should follow. Their life span also depends on the materials used, so be sure to check the quality before buying.
Unless you keep your sunglasses in water for a long time, they should be fine, but try to avoid contact with liquids as much as possible.
Whenever they come in contact with salt water or chlorine water, rinse them immediately and wipe the lenses gently.
Use only a microfiber cloth and not your own clothes, which might have some small particles on them that can scratch your lenses.
If you often go fishing at night, or during winter, you can have your sunglasses treated with an anti-fog coating. Lens fogging is caused by tiny water droplets that form by condensation on the surface of lenses when these are significantly cooler than the surrounding air temperature. This way, you will prevent moisture to form on the lenses and avoid damage caused by water.
Polarized sunglasses are designed to provide comfort to your eyes and help you to easily spot the fish under the water’s surface.
They are particularly good for those anglers who want to go sight fishing, but any fisherman needs to have a good pair, otherwise they will be simply blinded by the sunlight’s intensity and the surface reflection.
This is the most important use of polarized fishing sunglasses: they protect your eyes from glare and help you to have a clear, contrasted vision when you’re out on the water. They are available in a wide range of models and lenses colors, making the purchase decision process quite hard.
Each pair seems to have different features, so the decision should take different aspects into consideration. If you often go fishing in the open sea, where the light intensity is stronger, opt for a darker lens, while copper is best for sight fishing, both on the water or inshore. When choosing the material, remember that glass lenses will help you to have a better vision, while polycarbonate lenses are generally more resistant.
Whatever pair of polarized sunglasses you choose, be sure to treat it right: the last thing you want is that your best (and expensive) pair of sunglasses is damaged when you’re out on your fishing trip.
Does salty water damage sunglasses?
Salt water can seriously damage your polarized lenses as well, especially mirrored ones. In fact, the mirror coatings on the lenses are actually made of metal and this makes this kind of sunglasses more susceptible to damage.
Ions in salt water accelerate the decomposition of many materials, including most metals and many coatings and varnishes.
The combination of moisture, oxygen, and salt (especially sodium chloride) is more harmful than rust because it corrodes and weakens metal more easily (5 times faster than regular water), causing it to fall part.
So you need to be extra careful and take good care of your polarized sunglasses, preventing them to fall into salt water, and also cleaning them regularly since the humid sea air is dangerous for your lenses as well. Wash frequently your sunglasses under clean, fresh water to remove any salt as soon as possible after a day on the water.
It would be best to do it multiple times during your fishing trip as well. This will help you to keep your sunglasses and lenses in top condition. Keep in mind that different models and coatings react differently when exposed to salt water: your glasses may perform no better than a piece of simple iron if not treated the right way or purchased with the wrong coatings. Anti-reflective coating is deeply affected by salt water.
The coating will begin to come off, leaving the lenses looking scratched and worn after only a few months of use. If you often go sea fishing, Anti-reflective coating should be avoided. Mirrored coating will suffer as well, but they do stand up a little better than the anti-reflective ones. If you frequently go salt-water fishing, choose plastic frames as they will last longer.
How to protect and clean your sunglasses
There is no universal type of polarized sunglasses, therefore, no universal way to keep them all clean. The specific care instructions for your eyewear and the manufacturer’s recommendations should always be followed. Before wiping the lenses, remove surface dust or debris by blowing on your glasses, then run them under warm, clean water.
Water is the easiest way to remove any dirt, oil or smudges from polarized lenses. Be sure to rinse your glasses with water if they have salt on it, before doing any rubbing. Be careful if you use cleaners, as they contain chemicals that can slowly degrade the lens coating on your glasses. Only buy cleaners recommended by manufacturers.
A good lens cleaner should have a pH level between 5.5 and 8 and less than 5% alcohol content. If you can, avoid the use the cleaners in favor of warm water. And finally, always keep your glasses in their protective case when you’re not using them. This is the simplest way to reduce the accumulation of dust and to prevent scratches. Don’t expose your glasses to extremely hot or cold temperatures, which can deform the polarized coating.