BeachComberBum Does the BeachCombing for YOU !
Thanks for your interest in BeachComberBum's AlaskaGlassFloats.com.
In business since February, 2000, we provide the best, the most and largest variety of genuine, authentic personally
beachcombed Alaskan glass fishing floats.
Glass fishing floats can be traced back to 1840 with the Norwegians and other Europeans using a small egg sized floats on their
commercial fishing nets.
In the 1950’s the Japanese were commercially fishing almost all over the world and at the same time setting free unknown
numbers of “escapee” glass floats. Amos Wood states in his book Beachcombing for Japanese Glass Floats, “Once an oriental
glass float becomes a vagabond of the Pacific Ocean, it is subject to the currents and storm patterns of a body of water
covering almost half of the earth’s surface.”
For over 50 years Alaskan BeachComberBum, Paul Umlauf, has been happily picking up these gems of the sea and bringing them
Authentic commercial fishing glass floats range in size from 1.5 inches to 18 inches in diameter.
Take a look and notice how some of the floats are “frosted” from being sand blasted by winds in excess of 100 mph on some
isolated Alaskan beach.
BeachComberBum and Ms. Gertie head out beachcombing in early May each year. So watch for pictures of what
they bring back and where they've been.
Contact: Paul Umlauf
PHONE: (907) 262-7460 (Alaska Time)
41607 Dolly Varden Way,
Soldotna, AK 99669-9071
Early in the 1900’s commercial Japanese crab fishermen began
replacing wooden and cork floats on their fishing nets with free blown
3” glass floats. Other commercial fisheries could see how good the
glass floats worked. The glass floats were soon adapted to many other
fisheries, all the while changing the size and shape of the glass floats
for the nets of various commercial fisheries.
By the 1930’s millions of Japanese glass floats were being used in commercial fisheries throughout the Pacific Ocean. Some
of the glass floats would “escape” from the high seas commercial fishing nets around the world. These “run-away” floats
bounce through the Pacific for many years, weathering tidal waves, typhoons and who knows what else.
So, riding the waves and ocean currents, some of these
glass floats eventually wash up on Alaska beaches.
The colors range from clear and nearly colorless up to almost jet black with
just about every color and subtle hue you might imagine. The coloring tends
toward being light and transparent. The vast majority of oriental glass
fishing floats are in the blue-green color because there was an abundance
of cheap recycled glass available to the glass blowers. Recycled glass came
in mostly clear, green or blue shades.
Amber colored glass floats are the result of the arrival of
a truckload of brown beer bottles, for example.
Up until the ‘50’s nets were woven around the float so they
could be tied to the fishing gear. Working class floats were
then capped with polypropylene nets.
There’s also odd shapes and indentations that occur when the
blown molten glass “sags” or “ripples” as it quickly cools.
So be looking for your very own glass float as you search and
walk a beach. You just really never know when the mighty
Pacific will spit out a glass float.