Often generically called Polaroids, after the first company to produce them (a bit like Hoover), polarising sunglasses are an essential item for anglers.
They eliminate a huge percentage of reflective glare from the lake’s surface, allowing you to see much further down into the water itself.
Of course, especially at this time of year, a good pair should also help to reduce the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Needless to say, all seven pairs featured in this buyer’s guide are UV-certified.
Here's Marc Coulson's verdict on the a cross section of the market...
This can vary widely, but the main materials used are glass or polycarbonate, each of which will give different quality viewing. Very often, the price will reflect the quality of materials used.
It will only take a little rudimentary research to find a style to suit your tastes, and many manufacturers offer a range of fashion frames as well as more traditional ones.
You’ll need a case to keep your glasses safely stored in your rucksack or tackle bag, and a lanyard is a handy extra that enables you to keep the glasses hanging around your neck at all times when fishing. (it also prevents them from falling into the drink and sinking into the silt!)
Always a sensitive issue, and while there are some real bargains to be had on the fishing market, I would suggest buying the best glasses that you can afford. You’ll almost certainly see the difference, if you’ll excuse the pun.
RRP: £74.99 | www.fortiseyewear.co.uk
These guys burst onto the scene in recent years, with their combination of stylish frames and excellent quality lenses.
The Vista is a traditional-style frame as opposed to a fashion frame, but the lenses are the best I’ve seen from a carp-fishing brand.
The same company also produce the massively-popular ‘Wraps’ sunglasses too, at a far more pocket-friendly £20.
RRP: £39.99 | www.esp-carpgear.com
ESP has a raft of styles of glasses in its portfolio, but these stand out as being ideal for both fishing and general use.
The dark metal frames boast spring-loaded arms and the amber lens is a good all-rounder.
A frame like this won’t look out of place when driving or even on holiday, but the glasses themselves still offer a decent enough polarising lens to aid fish spotting.
RRP: £19.99 | www.foxint.com
If you’re buying your glasses for only occasional use or if you’re on a tight budget then these are well worth considering.
Offering UV400 protection and, especially in this case, made with style as well as function in mind, a penny under 20 quid is exceptional value.
As well as this tortoise shell, the Chunk frames also come in camo and khaki versions to cover all tastes.
RRP: £14.99 | www.gardnertackle.co.uk
Stylish sunglasses that incorporate a clever design feature allowing you to switch quickly between amber and grey lenses, thereby covering both bright and low-light conditions (hence the name).
The frames are extremely lightweight and, although they may not be in the same league as some here, you can’t knock the impressive value for money offered by these glasses.
RRP: £49.99 | www.greys-fishing.co.uk
Available in blue or green mirror lenses, the G2 are extremely popular in the game market and are ideal for carp anglers too.
The hydrophobic, polycarbonate lens is combined with a semi-wrap-style frame, made uniquely from a more environmentally friendly material compared to others.
Lightweight and comfortable on the face, these are an excellent mid-price all-rounder.
RRP: £269 | www.coast2coastsunglasses.co.uk
We’re now into the big boys' league when it comes to sunglasses, as Costa is a world-renowned maker of fine polarising fishing glasses.
The Rincon is just one of hundreds of frame and lens combinations and I think it looks great!
More than that, however, these are absolutely top quality and you’ll struggle, in my experience, to find anything better.
RRP: £175.99 | www.optilabs.com
As a specialist optician, Optilabs offer glasses with prescription, polarised lenses.
The Orbit is specifically designed for fishing and boasts a wrap-around style to negate sideways glare with both black and silver frame options.
Prices vary for varifocal lenses, but ours is a guide price for single-vision polarising lenses, which is still great value compared to the high street.