Recreational fishing is always an excellent chance to spend the day outside. Notably, fishing for fun can be beneficial for us in so many ways including positive impacts on our mental health.
In a PLOS study on the health and well-being benefits gained from recreational fishing, 75% of respondents reported that fishing led to a positive state of mind and provided stress relief and clarity of mind. Fishing enthusiasts also benefit from the general fun and enjoyment of the activity, as well as a chance for socialization.
Aside from the mental health benefits, fishing can also impact your physical health. Like many other activities that are spent outdoors, fishing can lead to the occasional injury and even serious health conditions. Over the years, there have been numerous studies on fishing-related eye injuries and conditions. In this post, we’ll look at an essential part of your fishing gear, protecting your eyes from accidents and general damage: sunglasses — and why it’s important that you wear them when out fishing:
Preparing for Open Water and Bright Conditions
When out daytime fishing, the sun can be a hindrance to your ability to catch fish. For one, the sunlight on the water’s surface produces a bright glare, making it hard for you to see your line, bait, or fish.
Eyewear brand Costa del Mar realized this problem in 1983 when fishermen realized their sunglasses were not suitable for their adventures. As such, they produced a line of products that allow their eyes to adjust for situations when it is bright out on the water.
Many other brands, including sports eyewear brand Oakley, have also contributed to better eyewear for anglers through design and innovation. They pioneered a Shallow Water lens, available on many of their popular sunglasses models, which is not only polarized but also engineered to help you identify structures and drop-offs. They also cut through glare in freshwater environments and help filter reflective glare on the water.
The Oakley sunglasses also absorb 100% UV light, protecting your eyes from long-term damage, and as they can be fitted on models such as Frogskins and Split Shot, they are versatile in terms of fit, face shape, and aesthetic.
Newer entrants into the space, such as sunglasses and sportswear company Flying Fisherman, continue to give fishermen a performance boost with their cutting-edge offerings.
Flying Fisherman sunglasses are lightweight and use AcuTint® technology in their polarized lens coloring system to enhance color contrast without distorting natural color. This helps sharpen your visual acuity on top of completely eliminating glare so that you can see deep in the water and spot your fish.
Protecting Against Fishing Injuries
As mentioned in our introduction, fishing-related eye injuries may seem rare, but they can and do happen. In a case study from the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, an 11-year-old boy was struck in the right eye and injured by a barbed fish hook while fishing with friends. This was classified as a corneal penetration, and researchers note that safely removing the fish hook can be challenging.
Aside from fish hooks, eye trauma can also happen as a result of lures and weights. Wearing a pair of sunglasses while fishing, then, provides not only protection from the sun but also the occasional — even if rare — fish hook accidents. At the very least, in case of a mishap, your sunglasses should take the brunt of the damage instead of your eyes.
Seeing More Fish
Finally, enjoying fishing as an activity often comes hand in hand with getting to catch fish. Unfortunately, because of external factors such as sunlight, glare, and overall bright conditions, it’s often challenging to see the fish in the water. Polarized sunglasses can help increase visual contrast to help solve this problem. Polarization is a must for serious fishermen. They can often be the difference between an average day on the water and a spectacular day.
Ultimately, we must remember that having a pair of sunglasses with us when we are out fishing is not merely for comfort under the sun. Sunglasses also offer effective eye protection from bright conditions, UV light, and fishing-related injuries to save you from potential lasting eye damage in the long run. Wearing a good pair means you can focus on your tackle and strategy and less on potential eye injuries. After all, fishing should be fun – and safe.