You might want to check the fly line by pulling more line off the front end-- there might be a thin end right at the front, but 10' feet in it might be thicker--- you may have a weight forward or double taper line ( either WF or DT should be on the packaging if you kept it), which will be a tad easier to cast than a level line with no taper.
For the fly end of the leader, (not the end of the leader that goes to the fly line) you might want to get in the habit of adding 18- 30” of tippet. You can cut back on the tippet, without cheating up on your leader as you change flies. That way you won’t have a shorter thicker leader each time you change flies. If you need more tippet after changing a few flies, just add more tippet. Tippet comes in spools for 2-3 bucks, and I usually carry a bunch of different ones for different sized flies. For trout spools of 3-6x should cover most situations from streamers to smaller dries.
Here are 2 good sites for different knots, handy for a lot of different things in FF:
Grog's Fishing Knots Index
Here are some common situations and some good knots to use for future reference. The one you're looking for now is "fly line to leader":
Backing to fly reel
- Arbor Knot from animated knots link
Fly line to backing
- Albright Knot or loop to loop connection if you change fly lines a lot (For a loop to loop connection, tie a short piece of backing to fly line with an Albright knot, then tie a 6 “ loop using a Surgeons Loop in the end of the backing you’ve attached to the fly line, and to the end of backing attached to the fly reel. This allows you to change fly lines easily on the reel if you don’t have extra spools.)
Fly Line to Leader Butt
- Albright or Nail Knot—I use the Albright, it’s easy once you learn, and a very reliable knot, but jayclamp is right about the Nail knot, it's a good one too. If you want to use a loop to loop connection, you can Albright or Nail Knot a short section of leader butt material (or heavy fishing line 20 or 30 lb test) to the end. Tie a loop in the end like a Non Slip Mono, and attach looped leaders with a loop to loop connection. I generally avoid loop to loop connections—they pick up **** in the water, and are more likely to “hinge” when casting. I’m not a fan of shrink type attachments, though others use them with no problems.
Leader to tippet
- Blood Knot or Double Surgeons, easier to tie than the Blood knot. I use the Orvis Tippet Knot (from the Orvis site) in FW which is pretty simple and strong.
Tippet to fly
: Improved clinch is probably the most common all around knot used but there are better, stronger ones. Here are a few good ones IMHO:
Flies on light tippets (3x or lighter)
– Orvis Knot (orvis site)
Bigger flies on stronger tippet
- Trilene Knot (animated knot site)
Streamers to tippet with a loop, instead of snugged tight to eye for more action in the water: Non Slip Mono Knot (Orvis site)
Hope this helps.