Re: tapered leader became a knotted leader...
Yes,yes... my experience has been that if you don't let that loop unroll all the way, you end up casting forward and back a little to quickly. Take your time, and definately cast up a little on the backcast. The other thing I have problems with some times is throwing to much force into the cast. It ends up producing really super tight loops that all come from the same exact place. They "Tail" and give these little knotted leaders. Fun.
One other thing you can try that really helped me was to single haul on the back cast. Just keep your non-rod hand on the line and as you broom the rod back with one hand, give that line a slight tug with the other. Loading is your friend.