I remember when I put on my first pair of polarized sunglasses. I was standing on the beach looking over the flats toward the reef. I went from only seeing glare on the water surface to seeing every shade of blue, sandbanks, weed patches, depth changes, and fish swimming shallow enough.
Every angler on the planet needs to be wearing polarized sunglasses while they are fishing. They are quite simply a game changer, allowing you to cut through the glare and see what is happening beneath the surface.
But, not many good pairs of polarized sunglasses are affordable, and most of the cheap options aren’t that great. Enter the Fortis Wraps sunglasses, a value for money pair that comes in four different versions for you to choose from.
Join me as we take a deep look at the different types of Fortis Wraps so you can choose which model will suit you best on the water.
How To Choose The Best Sunglasses For Fishing?
When choosing the best fishing sunglasses, several factors must be considered to ensure you get the most out of your eyewear on the water. Here are three key takeaways to keep in mind:
Polarization is Essential:
Polarized lenses are a must-have feature for fishing sunglasses as they reduce glare from the water’s surface, enabling you to see through the water more clearly and spot fish and underwater structures, such as weed beds, rocks, etc.
Polarization is key to reducing eye strain and improving visual clarity, which is crucial for anglers fishing for long hours. By filtering out horizontal light waves, polarized lenses allow you to detect movement and changes in the water better, giving you an advantage.
UV Protection and Lens Material:
Full UV protection is important to safeguard your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays, which can lead to eye damage over time. Look for sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection.
Additionally, the material of the lenses matters; polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant and suitable for those who do a lot of lure fishing or use heavy feeders and weights . Glass lenses, while heavier, provide excellent clarity and scratch resistance. Choose the lens material that best suits your needs depending on your style of fishing and the locations you frequent more often.
Frame Fit and Coverage:
The fit of the sunglasses should be comfortable for all-day wear, with a wraparound design that provides coverage and prevents light from entering around the edges. This design also helps to protect your eyes from wind and airborne particles.
A snug fit ensures that the sunglasses stay in place while moving around, while non-slip nose pads and temple grips will help keep them secure.
Additionally, consider the frame colour and lens tint, as different tints can enhance contrast and visibility in various light conditions, which is beneficial for spotting fish and underwater features.
The Fortis Wraps AM/PM sunglasses are the “standard” version of the range, and I will use them as the base to compare to all the other versions.
Firstly, the lenses are excellent. The polarization cuts through the glare on the water excellently so you can see what is happening beneath the surface. The wrap-around design helps with this by reducing the light entering from the sides and even allows peripheral polarized vision.
The lenses are both scratch and impact-resistant and are rated to a solid UV 400 protection, so your eyes aren’t strained.
The frames are lightweight, tough, and comfy to wear all day. They also feature a special vented design to reduce any mist. It does a good job, but some mist can form if you wear a buff.
The lens colour makes the AM/PM Wraps different from the others. They come with light amber lenses that brighten up your vision during low light conditions.
However, you might find them a little bit too bright on sunny days, and they come with no mirror to protect your eyes from light reflecting off the water.
If you are a carp angler in the UK, 90% of the time, you are fishing in cloudy, low, light conditions, and these lenses bring the underwater world to life. These are the cheapest Wraps option at around £20
The Fortis Wraps 24/7 are essentially almost the same sunglasses as the AM/PM model but with one difference: the lens colour.
The lenses on the 24/7 come with darker brown lenses compared to the AM/PM option. This makes them ideal for all conditions, from bright to lower light.
They are, therefore, perfect for fishing in bright sunny conditions and medium to lower light conditions, hence the name 24/7.
The lenses are quite dark, though, and you may have to strain your eyes in very low light conditions such as early mornings, late evenings, and when dark clouds block out the sun.
Overall, they are an excellent all-around pair of sunglasses for most light conditions, and you can also use them on the sea as the brown lens works well in both fresh and saltwater. But they are slightly more expensive than the AM/PM Wraps.
Fortis Wraps Switch
Again, the Fortis Wraps Switch are the same sunglasses as the AM/PM and the 24/7 except for the lenses.
The lenses in the Fortis Wraps Switch come with photochromic polarized lenses. What does this mean? The technology in the Switch lenses allows them to change shades based on how much UV light they are exposed to.
This means the lenses will get darker in bright conditions, and in lower light conditions, the lenses will get brighter, all while cutting the glare so you can see what is beneath the surface.
Owning the Fortis Wraps Switch removes the need for a pair of normal and low-light fishing sunglasses as they cover both scenarios.
They are slightly more expensive than the AM/PM and 24/7 wraps models, but you are actually saving money by not having to own two pairs of polarized fishing sunglasses.
This allows you to do more fiddly tasks like easily threading your leader through a hook eye while also being able to look out and scan for fish over the water.
Unfortunately, the Bifocals wraps are unavailable across all the lens options we have covered. They only come in the brown lens of the 24/7s, which is made to suit bright to medium light conditions and not ideal for low light conditions.
The ideal solution would be if you could get bifocals on the Switch and AM/PM lenses, and hopefully, Fortis will consider doing this in the future.
Which Fortis Wraps Model Is Best For Me?
In my eyes, you need to concern yourself with only two Fortis Wraps models: The Fortis Switch and the Fortis Bifocal.
You might be asking why I have removed the Fortis AM/PM and the 24/7 models from contention. It is because the Fortis Switch sunglasses cover both scenarios where the AM/PM and the 24/7 models would be useful.
The Fortis Switch model provides the lenses you need in both bright and low light conditions by changing their shade in response to the amount of UV light available. This makes them the perfect all-around fishing sunglasses.
But, if you are not a fan of photochromic lenses, and not everyone is, then maybe the AM/PM or 24/7 models will suit you best. Photochromic lenses are constantly adjusting, which means your eyes must do the same, which can be annoying.
Choose the Fortis AM/PM model if you often fish in low light conditions than brighter days, and go for the Fortis 24/7s if you often fish in bright conditions. They are so affordable that you could even buy both for just a bit more than you would spend on the Fortis Switch.
If you need a little bit of extra magnification in order to do the smaller, more detailed tasks that come with fishing, like threading thin lines through a tiny hook eye, the Fortis Bifocal model is perfect for you.
With the additional +2.0 magnification sections of the lenses, these tasks will become as easy as possible and save you a ton of frustration on the water.
Many anglers wear regular spectacles, so using a pair of fishing sunglasses can make it difficult to see clearly. One solution is to buy the Fortis Overwraps. These clip onto your normal prescription glasses, provide a polarised view, and won’t fall off. One practical feature is that the top of the frame has a vent system which prevents mist or fogging on the lens.
They are available in several options: Brown 247 lenses (OW001), Amber AM/PM lenses (OW002) or our new Switch lenses (OW003). Weighing 35 grams, they are lightweight and priced around £40, with the switch version around £50.
While they are not very stylish, these overwraps are the answer for anglers who enter a lot of competitive match fishing and general sight fishing!
By prioritizing polarization, UV protection, and the proper fit and coverage, you can select a pair of fishing sunglasses that protect your eyes at an affordable price. The Fortis Wrap range exceeds these key criteria with flying colours.
I hope this article was helpful, and now know which Fortis Wraps you need to buy. For a more expensive option (six times the price) but far superior quality, check out my review of the Smith Basecamp sunglasses model.
Alternatively, if you do a lot of sight fishing on saltwater flats or inshore fishing, check out my review on the Costa Del Mar Sampan, made by the world’s most popular fishing sunglasses brand, Costa Del Mar.
Growing up fly fishing on trout streams in Kenya and the UK, Jamie has traveled the world in search of fly fishing nirvana. From his time managing bonefish lodges in the Bahamas and running fishing safaris in East Africa, all the way to guiding on the flats of Seychelles, there aren't many species or environments he hasn't experienced firsthand.