Choosing the Right Lens Color for Fishing
Posted on October 01, 2018
Lens Colors: Let’s Take a Deeper LookLens Colors in Polarized Sunglasses for Fishing: a Deeper Look
If you're trying to choose the right lens color for fishing, we've put together an easy guide to understanding your options. This is a follow up to Lens Colors Do Matter for Fishing since we had numerous questions on the topic and people seem to be hungry for help in choosing the right polarized lenses for fishing on both sunny and cloudy days.
To recap briefly: sunglasses lens colors do matter when you are fishing! There appears to be widespread confusion and misunderstandings on the purpose of different lens colors. Can someone choose the “wrong lenses” in their favorite pair of sunglasses and still be a great angler? Well, yes of course! However, if you are looking for that extra edge in spotting fish, then lens colors matter! If your goal is to catch more fish, taking a hard look at your polarized lens color is a good place to start.
At Breakline Optics, we believe all anglers can thrive on just two different lens tints in a good pair of polarized sunglasses: Copper lenses and Grey (Gray) lenses. Additionally, you should factor in mirrored vs. non-mirrored lenses: what's best for fishing?
What's the Difference Between Copper vs. Grey Polarized Lenses?
Previously, we've explained that grey lenses (sometimes referred to as smoke) are darker and provide normal color recognition, while copper (sometimes called brown or amber) lenses block out blue light and therefore, increase your ability to recognize contrast in color. This contrast is what makes copper best for sight fishing: when you can see a contrast, you can more easily spot objects under water.
Grey lenses are ideal for almost anything else, particularly if you are trolling offshore and watching a spread. Here is a quick comparison of the types of features that the two main lens colors offer:
Gray Lens Benefits for Fishing
- Ideal for general use
- Helps to reduce eye fatigue
- Helps to improve color perception
- Typically minimizes glare
Copper Lens Benefits for Fishing
- Ideal for everyday variable conditions
- Increases visible contrast
- Improves depth perception
- Provides great clarity in low-light conditions
Choosing the Best Lens for Different Water Colors
One important myth we need to debunk: “Brown or copper lenses are for brown water and grey lenses are for clear water". This could not be further from the truth. The effectiveness of lens tints has absolutely no correlation to water color. Lens color affects the wavelengths of light being allowed in through the lens tints—it's as simple as that!
Since copper lenses block blue light, they increase your ability to focus on objects. This is true in all water colors, as long as it’s clear enough to see through the water column in the first place (lens color won't matter much if you are fishing in muddy water where you can’t see anything at all). For grey lenses, you will always see normal colors but will have a darker view.
What About Green Polarized Lenses
We've recently introduced Copper Mirror Polarized Lenses, which have a yellow lens tint, and we think they are the best option for fishing in most conditions. We've previously sold Green Mirror Lenses, which we still stand by as a great option for fishing on full-sun days or other high-contrast conditions like for fly fishing the flats.
Overcast or “Low Light” Conditions vs. Bright Sunny Days
As we said above, copper (or brown or amber) lenses are ideal for sight-fishing. There is one other factor to consider, too: the light conditions around you. Whether you are sight-fishing or not, if it’s overcast, cloudy or otherwise “low light conditions,” then you are going to be happier wearing the copper lenses. They are less dark and will improve your vision in these conditions, all while protecting you from harmful UV rays.
If it’s particularly bright and you are NOT sight-fishing, we recommend grey lenses. These are going to be darker and keep your eyes more relaxed throughout the day in these conditions. If you are sight-fishing on bright days, we recommend a mirror on copper lenses.
Best Lens Color For Fly Fishing in Montana
Our polarized sunglasses are specifically designed with fishing in mind, and since we're based in Bozeman, Montana—you can bet that we've tested countless lens colors on the rivers and streams of Montana. For our money, you can't beat the new Copper Lenses that we recently released for fly fishing the Gallatin or Madison. These polarized lenses offer industry-leading color clarity and great durability, which comes in handy if you're looking for a more scratch-resistant option or if you're known for the occasional fish flop. All of our lenses are made of ESSILOR® NXT® lens materials which offer the following sunglasses features:
• Amazing clarity
• Lightweight, so you can wear them comfortably all day
• impact resistance
• 100% UV protection
When you're packing up your fishing gear, sunglasses should be at the top of the list, as a day with clear vision and comfortable eyewear can make or break a fishing day.
Best Lens Color for Saltwater Fishing
Best Lens Colors for Off-Shore FIshing: A darker lens color with a very heavy mirror is great for offshore fishing because the glare on the open water is often intense. While a gray base with a blue mirror is synonymous across many brands of fishing sunglasses, you can’t go wrong with the Breakline NXT Cahaba with a Mirror Lens. This frame provides great wraparound protection, superior clarity and unparalleled durabitlity.
Best Lens Colors for Flats Fishing: If you love fishing the flats, you'll want a lens color that matches your needs but, as with any fishing-specific sunglasses, the most important feature you'll want to look for is polarization. A darker lens color will serve you well since the glare is intense on the flats.
To Put It Simply...
You only have to ask yourself two questions when deciding on lens tint:
- Are you sight-fishing or not? If yes, then go with copper or amber or brown. If not, then go with grey.
- Is it overcast or bright? If overcast: wear the copper lenses. If bright: wear the grey. If it’s bright and you’re sight-fishing, wear the copper with a mirror. It’s that simple!
Start Shopping for the Perfect Fishing Sunglasses For You
Our Cahabas with a grey lens and blue mirror would be great for a bright day on the river.
Our Cahabas with copper lenses and a green mirror would be perfect for a day of sight-fishing the flats.