I get asked this question all the time. If you let the sunglasses companies answer, they’ll say there is no answer—they want to sell you one lens for low-light, one for saltwater fishing, one for cloudy days on a river, and on and on. Can’t say I blame them for wanting to make money, and I cannot say I disagree with the logic.
But then again, I’m one of those weirdo anglers who would rather spend hours sight-casting to one fish than catch a dozen fish by fishing blind. So good, clear sunglasses in different options are always high on my gear priority list, and I usually travel with a few options.
That said, if you have to boil it all down to one lens color that you would take with you anywhere you fished—from the carp pond to the open ocean, and from a river on a cloudy day, to a flat with the sun beating down—what tint would you choose?
Gray? Blue? Rose? Amber? Copper? (What’s the difference between amber and copper anyway, other than marketing-speak?). How about yellow? Lighter lenses work on bright days, but darker lenses don’t do much good in low-light conditions.
For me, it’s a light copper (or amber), preferably with a mirror coating. That’s what I wear 75 percent of the time, wherever I’m fishing.