Glass Fishing Floats

There is something alluring about a glass float. So beautiful and round that has spent time in our oceans. To me they are a little like a mysterious message in a bottle that has been set adrift in the hope someone will find it years later.

My first memory of glass fishing floats were like this one. The ones that my Dad had in the garden when I was growing up. They had been washed up on a beach in North Queensland during a time when the Japanese used to fish in our deep sea waters well over fifty years ago.  Sadly, they are no longer found on our beaches anymore....

Do you know where glass floats originated from?

Many think it is Japan but they were first produced in Norway as far back as 1840. They were made to replace wood or cork, and by the 1940s were being used by fisherman all over the world to keep their fishing nets and lines afloat. Fishnets were strung together and once set adrift in the ocean, the hollow glass balls or glass rolling pins held the nets near the surface to give them buoyancy.

Today, most of the remaining glass floats originate in Japan because of its large deep sea fishing industry and not many are used for fishing anymore. However, glass floats that slipped out of fishing lines years ago can still be found roaming our oceans, particularly in the North Pacific.

Oh, to find one on the beach must be one of the biggest thrills. 

Glass floats are not only collectors items but also a popular item for vintage lovers, beachcombers and interior designers, and come in all different sizes, colours and shapes as they were designed & used for different types of fishing.

 Do you have have a favourite?

All these are more than 30-40 years old and can be found here: 

 Stay tuned... in a few weeks I will write a piece about styling ideas with glass floats. 


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