Hmmmm.....I use 9-12 foot leaders for trout. 9 feet is about as short as I go for any species BTW. I usually tie my own, and in that case the tippet is the
final section tied on. With the tapered/knotless leaders you bought, the tippet is the last couple of feet (tops) of the entire leader. As you tie on flies and snip them off, your leader will become shorter. You should buy a spool or two of tippet material that matches the leader you're using. I'd snip off the last two feet off a 9' leader, and attach 26 inches of tippet material before you even begin. Use a double surgeon's knot (very easy to tie) to attach the tippet, and you'll be able to clearly see how much tippet you've used while fishing. I might allow a 9' leader to get down to 8'6" before tying on another section of tippet; shorter if fishing for bluegills, crappie, and other panfish, but never beyond the surgeon's knot.
I used tapered leaders 30 years ago, and switched to hand tied. The hand tied leaders worked much better for me, but I bought a few packs of Umpqua
leaders, and they worked very well. I bought many more (see the Classified forum
). SA leaders never worked well for me, but I do love their fly lines. Honestly, I bought some SA leaders about 8 years ago, and threw them in the trash....seriously.
Getting good turnover on line and leader is very important, and a good leader will help immensely. Proper casting technique is just as important.