Actually, the latest model of the Shimano Curado is over a year old. I got mine through luck and circumstance last year, shortly after their introduction. A friend gave me a handful of gift cards from one of the online outlets (I'm so old I still keep calling them mail order outlets). My friend said he didn't know how much was on the cards or even if some of them had expired, but when I checked there was over $100 left on all the cards, and none had expired.
So I waited until a sale and got a nice new green 7:1:1 Curado. I've been fishing with it pretty regularly in both fresh and saltwater this year, and I have to say I'm a believer. If you still fish with an Ambassador of any flavor, you owe it to yourself to try one of these.
This is the first baitcasting reel that I have owned where backlashes were not a major problem. This is not to say that I've had no backlashes on the Curado, it's just that they have been infrequent. Also, when I do have a backlash on the Curado, it's of the minor variety and is much easier to straighten out. In fact, most of the Curado backlashes simply need the fishing line pulled in both directions and the tangle pops clear.
I'd fished with Curados that belonged to friends many times over the years. Most, if not all, of my hardcore fishing buddies had made the switch in the 90's from their red Garcia Ambassador 5000's that they had bought new in the 70's to either the Curado or the Chronarch reels by Shimano and swore by them.
Like my beloved Glocks (which I've owned and exclusively used since 1991), the body of the Curado is made of lightweight composite material. It weighs literally nothing compared to the Ambassador 5000. The new model has inceased line capacity over the older models, and that's always nice to have as much line as possible in case you lose a bunch of line on a snag or actually get lucky and hook a lunker that takes long runs.
Speaking of Glocks, as a fisherman, outdoorsman, sportsman, occasional hunter and general all around Texas guy that likes to plink a lot, where is that Glock .22 that needs to be made? I would LOVE to have a thin-ish Glock in .22 caliber that held like 20 rounds or more in a gun the size (or smaller) than the thin-line .45 ACP Glock Model 36. The nice tiny .22 autos made by Sig and Walther are awesome guns, but I have no doubt that I'd like a cool Glock .22 better. I'm just saying...If Glock doesn't hurry up and do something, I'm going to have to go buy a Sig Mosquito or Walther for my kit gun.
In any event, as I am want to do, I digress. The Curado has some very nice softish plastic grips on the handle. The lure weight adjusting system on the Curado simply requires opening a hatch on the side and sliding little doohickeys up or down to adjust for heavier or lighter lures. There are no parts to remove or add, as with the Ambassadors of old.
I've got braided line on mine, and I use flourocarbon leaders when fishing in abrasive conditions or for fish with teeth. I like the fast retrieve of the model I have, but would like to one day get the slower retrieve model as well. I'm also shopping around to buy a couple of one piece modern baitcasting rods that have the exposed blank that shows through the handle. I'm probably going to buy the American Rodsmith cheapie that is sold at Academy, as these have garnered the best reviews at the Texas Fishing Forum for the low end rods of this nature.
Weight matters, it seems, in nearly everything these days. As I grow older, I want to carry less, whether I'm jamming or doing a gig or fishing. But even as a young man, I was constantly seeking ways to lessen my load, whether as a working drummer or as a fisherman. This new reel by Shimano is literally a fairy reel, as it weighs almost nothing, yet it's got a great drag and is by far the best baitcasting reel I've ever owned.
Now if Shimano would just buy the design for the venerable Garcia Abu series of great spincasting reels like the ABU 170 and the ABU 290 and make them out of the same stuff that they're making the Curados out of. Put the same handles and the same star drag on the ABU that are on the Curado, and I'd buy more than one.