Re: How do you make streamer leaders?
I tie the following onto a more stout leader section (generally 20lb.), or the thick part of a used up 4x leader after the skinny line has been used up. I prefer fluoro if I can afford it. When tying a smaller line to a much thicker line, an 8 wrap albright knot works well (test it before fishing it though).
I use heavy stuff for bass and carp because they almost always try to break me off in deep cover/weeds/log jams/etc., and they are not usually found in very clear water around here. For trout, something a bit stealthier is best. You're looking for a territorial or reactionary bite, so most likely the fish is chasing and will see the streamer more than the line. Much different than drifting 6x by their faces.
Also, articulated streamers are neither cheap or quick to tie. Using heavier line generally means better retrieval odds from snags. 15lb. will break off small branches, 8-10lb and the fly is generally lost unless the snag is small or light.
with clear sink-tip lines, you can get away with a very short 4-6 foot leader of heavy fluoro tied directly to the fly line.
A non-slip loop knot will give your articulated flies the best movement in the water.