The Best All-Around Sunglass Color

Orvis Tri-Spectrum Sunglasses

Orvis Tri-Spectrum Sunglasses: These are the lenses that I have been wearing very happily for the past two years.

An over-eager optometrist might tell you that you need gray lenses for blue-water fishing, yellow lenses for overcast days, and amber lenses for the flats.  But the closest lens to perfect for just about any near-shore fishing is brown (as opposed to the orangey-red color that some companies call “amber”)–and polarized of course.   Brown increases contrast and highlights color differences better than any other tint.  Of course all eyes are different (8 percent of males are colorblind), so don’t take anyone’s word for what color will produce the best visual experience for you.

Years ago an eyeglass company came out with “clear” polarized lenses that were ideal for running in low light and evening in semi-darkness.  I tried a pair of polarized Transition lenses recently that worked very well for early morning running, but my favorite all-around lenses in recent years have been the Orvis Tri-Spectrum “amber” lenses (I know, it’s confusing; the picture at left shows that they really are more yellow-brown than amber).

Another factoid about sunglasses: The more light the lenses let in, the more you see.  So make sure you balance lens darkness with where you will be fishing.  Super-dark lenses are great for big white bonefish flats that are lit up by the sun but will be a poor choice for spotting laid-up tarpon in dark, mangrove-stained water.

One last thing: don’t ever run your boat without glasses on unless it is impossible to see with them on.  Your eyes are far too valuable.