Best Prescription Fly Fishing Sunglasses (Polarized): 2023

If you are short or long sighted that doesn’t mean you can get great fishing sunglasses. Here are our top picks for the best prescription fly fishing sunglasses (polarized).

Just because you are short or long-sighted, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a great pair of polarized fly fishing sunglasses.

All four of the top brands for fly fishing (Smith Optics, Costa Del Mar, Maui Jim’s, and Oakley) offer prescription polarized lenses to go with their fishing sunglasses frames.

These are a better choice than just going to your optician and selecting a standard (non-fishing) frame and a lens and color to go with it.

While this is a quicker and easier option, these frames aren’t made for fishing, and neither are the lenses. 

It is better to get the best polarized lens and frame technology you can by getting a prescription fly fishing sunglasses from one of the major manufacturers.

  • Smith Optics has a direct-order prescription program that’s simple to use with all popular models for anglers including its iconic Guide’s Choice model. Click here to browse.
  • Costa del Mar prescription or RX lenses are available through the Costa dealers’ network. Click here for more detail.
  • Maui Jim’s says 95% of their frames can be fitted with prescription lenses. Find a dealer here.
  • Oakley’s prescription models with polarized lenses can be ordered directly from their website.

Of course, all prescriptions are different and requirements for bifocal or progressive multifocal lenses make things a bit trickier.

I need progressive multifocals so I can both see well at a distance and tie on flies at close range (my days of tying on a size 18 dry fly without these lens are well and truly over!).

Lens Materials for Prescription Polarized Sunglasses

Smith Prescription Interface for buying sunglasses direct
Smith has an easy ordering screen for you to buy prescription sunglasses directly.

Depending on the strength of your prescription, certain frame materials (particularly glass) may or may not be available in polarized lenses.

Glass or Techlite is heavy compared to Trivex or polycarbonate plastic lenses, so thickening it to accommodate corrective vision properties can make it too heavy for polarized fishing sunglasses.

Check with the companies themselves for details and get your polarized prescription fishing sunglasses glasses ordered now. 

Trust us – you won’t regret this. We’ve tried the alternative – non-corrective sunglasses with contact lenses (eyes get sore and dry on long days and can see well close up) and conventional glasses with polarized lenses (frames aren’t strong enough for fishing and lenses too small and ineffective or too dark/too low a VLT). 

Our prescription polarized sunglasses are now arguably my most valuable piece of fly fishing kit. Please remember to label them with your phone number and email – you never want to lose a good pair of fishing sunglasses, let alone a pair that is tailored specifically to you!

How to Order Prescription Polarized Sunglasses

If you have never ordered prescription sunglasses online before, the process is very easy. We love Smith sunglasses, so we’ve used their ordering system to illustrate how it is done. Just follow the steps below.

Choose Your Frame

Choosing frame

Head to the Smith site (u003ca href=u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 data-type=u0022URLu0022 data-id=u0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopener nofollowu0022u003ethis linku003c/au003e takes you there). Select your choice of frame. Note here that not all frames are suitable for prescription lenses if the lenses have to be fairly thick. For now, just pick the pair you like. The system will let you know later in the process if the frame you have chosen doesn’t work for your prescription.

Choose Between Simple or Progressive Lenses

choose prescription type

Choose if you want single-vision lenses or progressive (multifocal) lenses. Multifocal lenses have different corrective capacities for up close and distance. In progressive lenses, this change is gradual rather than abrupt change.

Choose Your Lens Type and Color

Screen Shot 2022 10 22 at 17.48.59

Here’s where you get to select your preferred tint and whether you want specialty lenses such as the Smith u003ca href=u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00225922u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003eLow Light Ignitorsu003c/au003e or standard Chromapop lenses.

Enter Your Prescription and Complete the Sale

Screen Shot 2022 10 22 at 17.49.06

Put in the key numbers from your prescription and hit review. Double-check all is well and buy your new prescription polarized sunglasses.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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