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High Rollers

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

A very popular kind of glass fishing float are the rolling pins.

There are two types: The Hokkaido Roller and the Tohoku Roller.

The Hokkaido Roller is from the island of Hokkaido which is located at the very north end of Japan. The Tohoku Roller is from the region Tohoku - the region where I live on the Honshu Island (just below Hokkaido).  

In Japan, there is no distinction made in names - they are simply called bindama "glass bottle float".

How to identify where the rollers are from:

The Hokkaido roller body is more parallel/ flat on each side.

The Tohoku Roller's body is more rounded.

So why the shapes of these? One theory is that they are simply an imitation of the wooden floats so therefore easy to tie and easy to substitute from the wooden floats.

  • pic with wooden float and glass

Now I have a secret to share - I have a few favorites.

The first one is this one which I believe is the"Shark Roller" dubbed by Walt Pich because he was told that it was used with shark gillnet fishery. It is thinner than my other rollers with a 1inch width and length of 7.5 inches.

The first one is a standard Tohoku Roller, the next one may be a "Stretched" one but the verdict is not out yet and the last one is a "Shark Roller".

Next up is the "Pinched-end" which means that it was not sealed with a glass button but rather just "pinched off".

Then there is this "scarred" one which simply has a line running through it. This would have happened during the cooling down process and lack of care in cleaning in between production. I think the scar makes it more beautiful and unique.

Then there is this Tohoku roller with its original netting still on. I am a sucker for netting.

Lastly, this one is extra unique with all its subtle textures and swirls (although difficult to capture clearly). Another "flaw" that would have been created due to not properly cleaning in between production in order to save time and money.

So that is a brief look in to the Rolling pins that I personally own thanks to the Fishing Shack that we were able to rescue them from last year (see Instagram stories for more info!)

Like any of the photos in this post? Some (and more!) are available in Digital Prints in my store!

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