Re: leaders and tippet material
The knot-less tapered leaders are an extruded or drawn mono product if I remember correctly. The sure fire way to know where the actual tippet begins to swell into the next size (from .08 to .11 for instance) is to have a micrometer and to establish the relative thickness of the length of the leader from end to end.
The easiest remedy for a leader that is growing short is to take note of the length when you put it (the leader) on, 7', 9', etc, and tie on about 16" of new material matching the diameter and strength of the original tip prior to the factory tippet being all gone.
Did that make sense?
Sounds like you better practice your blood knot tying. I always liked the Dai Riki Velvet leaders if I went with pre made.