Re: i may begin fly fishing... questions and advice?
Hi Jason, this is Jason.
I will attempt to answer a couple of questions for ya.
The leader and the tippet are different. Usually (I believe) the tippet becomes most important when Trout fishing. If you look at the tippet material in the store, you will quickly realize that it is tapered with a very thin line towards the fly. This is so the Trout (who are weary) cannot see it as well. I have been known in the past to use simple mono as a leader and a tippet when bass fishing or going after bluegills. When I'm fishing for Pike, I can put on a steel tippet to avoid cutoffs or change it out to a different tippet to suit the fish I'm targeting without changing leader ( I hate tying nail knots in the field).
Another good thing about having a leader and a tippet is you can change flies by tying tippets to common flies and using a loop knot between the leader and the tippets for a quick and easy change so your not tying a ton of knots at the river.
You can use a float (also known as a strike indicator) on a fly rod, but it must be small because you cant cast a fly line like you would in a spinning rig (you must fly cast). There are also a ton of flies for still fishing. I have tied a few meal worm flies for that purpose and you have all kinds of other flies that can be used (dry flies, terrestrials, etc). You can tip a hook with live bait, but you wouldn't necessarily put a minnow on a bare hook and cast it out, the minnow would be in someones backyard more than the river.
On a slightly different note, I have seen some rods that are set up to handle a spinning reel and a fly reel, but I don't have any experience with that and the one I saw was an antique on craigslist so I'm not sure you can get them new.
Hope that helped some.