<<As far as the leader goes, the best thing for you would be the tapered leaders of 7 1/2' with a tippet that is 3X (about 6# test). This is strong enough to land any of the fish you are targeting at present and is not too large a diameter that would put the fish off. While you are at it, buy an extra 3X tippet leader spool or two to replace the tippet on the tapered leader, which will get shorter as you tie on and take off flies. To tie the tippet on to the leader (don't do this until you have used up about 18" of the leader), simply tie a double overhand knot with the new tippet section (about 18"-24") overlapping the leader (in other words, you are going to pass both the end of the leader and the length of the tippet through the overhand loop twice). Put a little spit on it, and pull it tight while holding on to all four pieces of it. Very simple knot (you may already know how to tie this since you have been using spinning and casting gear) that is very strong.>>
Cool. I got a 9' 3X today (before I read your post) and went and cast a few times in a 'bow/landlocked King lake, didn't get any hits, but only stayed a few minutes. Need to figure out how to cast with a hill behind me, I kept wrapping my fly around the rod. Thanks for the tip about buying a spool of tippet, I'll grab that next time I'm at the store, along with the backing.
<<There are fly lines which are made specifically to help new fly casters cast better, and the best part is they are cheaper than the onces made for more experienced casters. Scientific Anglers (SA), Cortland, and RIO all make them and they sell for around $25.00 give or take a few dollars. Once of these in a WF7 would be proper for your 6/7 rod. You are thinking correctly as regards the WF line being a better choice than the DT. The WF floating line is far easier to cast over 30' than the DT.>>
Do they say for beginners on them? I see the WF SA and Cortland, and floating or sinking, but beyond that, I'm not sure.
<<Backing is inexpensive and you really ought to have some on your reels. For the fishing you are currently doing, 20# dacron backing would be a good choice. You should have between 50 and 100 yds of it underneath you fly line so that you could allow a larger fish to take out your line and not worry about running out of fly line. This will help you land more fish. I'd never fish without backing on my reel, even if only fishing for trout under 6" is small mountain brooks.>>
OK, I'll get some backing and put it on. I'm going to use an arbor knot to secure it to the reel, of course, but to secure the line to the backing, can I use loop to loop or should I use a different knot?
I appreciate your help