While checking out some news sites this morning, I found a story that will make you very happy you have the ability to drive to the Wally World, buy all the rods, reels, stink bait, and plastic worms your heart desires, then jump on your boat and use them. These things are not easy to come by in Cuba, and the government heavily regulates who can operate and own a boat due to illegal immigration. But one thing you can buy at three for a penny in Cuba is condoms. Turns out the Cubans have found many uses for them that go far beyond the bedroom.


According to the story on, condoms are frequent substitutes for balloons at childrens’ parties. At baseball games, people blow them up and bat them around like beach balls. If you see a bunch of broken condoms on the streets, don’t be alarmed. It was probably a water balloon fight.

But condoms really come in handy when you can’t find or afford a ten-foot rod and the fish are cruising past the outer bar. Anglers tie inflated condoms together and use them as kites to carry their baited handlines offshore. From the story:

“We use them a lot this time of year, during the snapper run,” [angler Michel] Perez explained, letting out his line from a homemade wooden spool. With a good breeze, the floating condoms can carry the hook hundreds of meters out into deeper waters, far beyond casting distance, he said. Not that Perez has a fishing rod anyway. “When the fish takes the hook, the line pulls free,” he explained, “and you start reeling in.”

This only stands to prove that no matter where you are or what tackle you have at your disposal, the best fishermen out there are those that can improvise. If you need further proof that Cuban anglers are particularly innovative, I highly recommend reading Bill Heavey’s story on largemouth fishing in Cuba. – JC