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Why are fishing sunglasses blue?

Fishing sunglasses with blue lenses have become incredibly popular among anglers in recent years. But why exactly are they blue? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind blue light, how it affects vision underwater, and why blue lenses are ideal for spotting fish.

The Properties of Blue Light

To understand why blue lenses are best for fishing, we first need to understand a bit about light. The visible light spectrum that humans can see ranges from violet to red. Blue light sits between green and violet on the spectrum. Here are some key properties of blue light:

  • Wavelength – Blue light has a wavelength of about 475 nanometers (nm). This wavelength is shorter than other colors like green and red.
  • Scattering – Shorter wavelengths scatter more easily than longer wavelengths when passing through water. Blue scatters the most of all colors.
  • Penetration – Because blue light scatters rapidly, it penetrates less deeply into water compared to longer wavelengths.

How Blue Light Improves Underwater Vision

So how exactly do those properties improve vision underwater? Here are some of the main benefits:

Enhanced Contrast

Because blue light scatters very easily, wearing blue lenses while fishing actually improves contrast. The scattering effect amplifies the differences between light and dark colors underwater. Blue lenses essentially act like polarized sunglasses, reducing glare and making everything appear more vivid.

Cuts Through Water Haze

Water absorbs longer red and green wavelengths, leaving mostly blue light behind. This causes a “hazy” effect underwater from the excess blue light waves. Blue lenses counteract this phenomenon by blocking and filtering out much of the ambient blue haze, resulting in improved clarity and reduced eyestrain.

Spotting Silhouettes

As blue light penetrates less deeply into water, this makes objects and silhouettes stand out more starkly. Blue lenses enhance this effect, allowing anglers to better discern outlines and shapes in deeper water.

Blue Lens Options

Now you understand the benefits, but which blue lens is best for your needs? Fishing sunglasses come in a range of lens tints and mirrored coatings to optimize vision in different underwater conditions.

Lens Type Description Best For
Gray Blue Dark gray base with a blue mirror coating to cut glare All-around vision in sunny conditions
Green Blue Mirror Green base with blue mirror for contrast enhancement Medium to low light fishing
Copper Blue Mirror Copper base with blue mirror for glare reduction Extremely bright and sunny conditions
Yellow Blue Mirror Yellow base to increase contrast and definition Low light and overcast days

Amber and vermillion lenses are also common. Experiment to find the right blue tint and mirroring for the fishing locations and light conditions you frequent.

Blue Lens Materials

Lens material also significantly impacts optical clarity and durability. Here are some top choices:

Material Characteristics
  • Impact-resistant and durable
  • Affordable option
  • Marginal optical clarity
NXT Polyurethane
  • Lightweight feel
  • Resists scratching
  • Clear vision
  • Crisp optics
  • Lighter than polycarbonate
  • Higher cost
  • Unparalleled optical clarity
  • Durable and scratch-resistant
  • Heavier than plastic lenses

Finding the Right Fit

With so many lens choices out there, it can be daunting to find fishing sunglasses that meet your needs and style. Keep the following tips in mind when shopping for blue fishing lenses:

  • Prioritize optical clarity over aesthetics or brand names
  • Ensure the frame fits snugly and blocks peripheral light
  • Look for hydrophobic lens coatings to repel water, salt, and grease
  • Consider supplemental amber or polarized lenses for variable conditions
  • Try on different lens materials and tints to compare vision quality
  • Check return policies in case the shades don’t meet expectations

While price often reflects quality, even budget blue fishing lenses will outperform ordinary shades. Don’t overpay for hype or branding.

Blue Blockers – Yay or Nay?

Some anglers wonder whether blue-blocking yellow lenses might further improve underwater vision. It’s a hotly debated topic among fishing experts.

Potential benefits of blue blockers:

  • Increase contrast by eliminating blue haze
  • Reduce eyestrain from blue light overexposure
  • Enhance perception of movement and flashes

However, potential drawbacks also exist:

  • Colors appear less vibrant and shifted
  • Diminished depth perception and visual acuity
  • Loss of detail from excessive color distortion

For many anglers, the downsides seem to outweigh the upsides. Blue blockers haven’t proven popular, though some swear by them.

Maximizing the Benefits of Blue Lenses

To get the most out of your blue fishing lenses, keep these usage tips in mind:

  • Clean the lenses regularly with a microfiber cloth to prevent salt and scratches
  • Store the sunglasses in a hard case when not in use
  • Wear a lanyard or cord to prevent losing them in the water
  • Use a quality neck strap so they hang securely when not covering your eyes
  • Swap out lenses or switch to a clear backup pair in low light conditions
  • Consider prescription inserts if you wear corrective lenses

Also, don’t forget a hat with a brim to block overhead sunlight that reflects off the water’s surface and reduces visibility.


After reading this, you should have a solid understanding of why blue lenses excel for fishing. The scattering properties of blue light give blue lenses a unique advantage underwater by improving contrast and cutting through haze. Just be sure to find a lens material and tint tailored to your fishing environs and light conditions.

While some pro anglers rely exclusively on blues, having interchangeable lenses makes it easier to adjust to any scenario. A few different tints of blue, as well as clear or yellow lenses, will have you ready for anything the water throws your way.

Want even more insight on choosing the ultimate fishing shades? Check out our in-depth guide to selecting the best sunglasses for every fishing environment. Tight lines!