Re: Rookie questions, tippets and leaders
On the tippet vs. leader thing, it might help to know that to some degree, they are one and the same. Say you buy a 9' 5x leader. The last 3' or so of that thing is tippet. Once you have tied on and trimmed the excess for 6-12 flies, you will have used up the tippet section of the leader and will be getting into the tapered part.
Instead, do this- after you've cut 2.5' off your leader in the process of tying flies on, pull off 3' of tippet from your spool and use a double surgeons knot to attach it to your leader. Now you have replaced the tippet section of your leader.
The main point of using tippet instead of replacing your leader each time is to save time and money. Leaders will run you $3-4 each. A 30 yard spool of tippet will cost about the same. By replacing the tippet section of your leader with tippet off of your spool, you can get the equivalent of 10 leaders (3' x 10 = 30 yards) for the price of two. I think you'll find that you can tie on a new tippet faster than you can replace your whole leader, so you'll spend more time fishing and less time fiddling with your leader.