I use 50 lb. premium salt water ande for leaders. I still have some 30 lb. ande spooled on some 6000 and 6500 reels.
I mainly fish braid these days and have for years, both have their place and it is a personal preference. Try both some people love braid and some people hate it.
I cut the barrel off of an old wood bat and wrap the braid around it. Pull it tight then give it a quick jerk, either the leader breaks, the hook straightens or the tree will come with it
Do not wrap the line around your reel like you do with mono or it will damage your reel. DO NOT wrap braid around your and or fingers or it WILL CUT YOU.