ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Glass Fishing Floats

Updated on January 16, 2011

Glass Float

Glass floats, glass fishing floats, glass buoys or Japanese fishing floats as they are sometimes called, are beautiful works of art created partly by man and partly by mother nature. They are usually spherical balls of glass varying widely in color and size and were used for fishing. The floats were attached to fishing nets and used to keep them afloat at sea. During the years that they were used, unknown numbers of these glass balls were lost at sea. Huge numbers of glass floats still exist in the worlds oceans, sometime's washing up onshore for the would be beachcomber to find. Their intrinsic beauty and history make them highly desirable collectors items, and symbols of a past maritime age.

Glass Float History

Glass floats can be found throughout the worlds oceans, although they are most prevalent in the Pacific. They were first invented in Norway in the late 1800s and their use spread rapidly throughout the world, replacing the standard wood and cork floats used before.

By the early 1900's many countries were using them in their fishing industry. Japan was one of the largest users of fishing floats due to it's extensive fishing industry, this being one of the reasons many people refer to glass floats as "Japanese fishing floats."

After World War 2 glass floats fell out of use as other cheaper and more durable materials were developed. However, thanks to the currents in the pacific there are still so many glass floats waiting to be discovered. 

Glass Float Varieties

There are a large variety of glass floats out there. Most are blue or green in color and sphere shaped. However they can also be oblong in shape as well. Much more rare colors such as red or orange are highly valuable because the production process to make them required the use of more expensive materials such as gold. The most common kind of glass used in Japanese glass floats comes from recycled sake bottles which were usually green colored. Often the colors of glass floats changes overtime by prolonged exposure to salt water, sunlight, and rubbing of other debris or nets against the glass.

Sizes of floats can very too. Some are small and palm sized, while others can be as large as a basketball.

Where to Find Glass Floats

At the beach of course! Fishing floats continouusly wash in on ocean currents and end up on beaches, usually amongst other debris and flotsam. If you are looking to find your own authentic glass floats without paying this is the only way to go! The best time to go in search of glass fishing floats is usually after storms as more debris will be washed ashore. There are still many floats out there stuck in ocean currents and possibly even stuck in icebergs in colder regions. Especially in the pacific where the current's create a massive dead zone in the center, huge amounts of garbage has been collecting for years. Inside this zone there are probably man thousands of floats still bobbing around, waiting to be knocked off into surrounding currents and deposited on a beach near you.

The pacific has the best beaches where float glass can be found, due to the fact that the Japanese fishing industry was the largest user of glass fishing floats, hence the term "Japanese glass fishing floats," that is sometimes used to describe them.

If you want to get some right away, most beach communities have gift shops that sell them. However, be careful because not all glass floats are equal. Some may be worth more than others, depending on the color and rarity and some may be replicas and not the real deal. Truly great glass floats will show signs of being at sea and have beautiful vivid colors as well as corrosion and sometimes even sea water inside (which enters over time through small imperfections in the glass).

On the other hand if you are just into glass floats as a decoration, there are many beautiful replica's available. They make great decorations for nautical themed rooms and beach houses.

Happy Hunting!

If you are interested in learning more about glass fishing floats check out some of these sites dedicated to glass floats. They provide even more in depth detail and information about glass floats.

Thanks for reading, and I hope that you get lucky and find yourself a beautiful glass float on your next trip to the beach!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mabmiles profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice work. Very interesting.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello and thank you for sharing.

      I am also interested in these gems of the sea, and have in my collection glass floats of different colours and shapes from Europe, America and Asia.

      Best Regards.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is great art and great work.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)