Polarized sunglasses are necessities for day-long fishing excursions. They fight the glare of the sun, reduce eye strain, and make a day on the water much more enjoyable. 

The benefits of wearing polarized shades far outweigh any negatives, but one prominent negative that is evident to many anglers is that seeing a depth finder’s display seems nearly impossible with polarized shades.

One simple trick fixes that.

“I used to remove my shades anytime I wanted to look at my Lowrance unit, because with my shades on, it just looked like a black screen,” said veteran angler Del Castleman of High Point, N.C. “One day, really by accident, I figured out how to keep my shades on and still see the display.”

The trick, according to Castleman, is to tilt your head slightly to the left when facing the depth finder. 

“You don’t have to take your shades off or even adjust them. Just a slight tilt of the head to the left, and the screen is visible. You don’t have to tilt your head very much, so it is worth it to keep your shades on and not get blinded by the sun,” he said.

Castleman is correct, at least partially, according to David Idress, an avid angler who manages a Sunglass Hut store in Raleigh, N.C.

“The reason for the difficulty seeing the screen when wearing polarized shades is because most depth finders have pixel alignments that run 90 degrees from top left to bottom right, or vice-versa. Polarized shades run counter to that,” Idress said.

“Polarized lenses are aligned horizontally. With the majority of depth finder units, tilting your head slightly to the left will allow you to see the screen clearly, but some of the newer depth finders don’t require that. Some have pixel alignments that allow viewing clearly even when wearing polarized shades,” he said.