With that said, I will say that I've had the palomar knot fail me on fluorocarbon, but accept that it may be user error on my part. I now use a san diego jam knot or a doubled uni-knot for tying on lures. Both knots have served me well and usually only break when I get snagged and am forced to break off. As a sidenote, like you, I also use the FG knot for my connections and when snagged, it's almost always the terminal/lure knot that breaks, not the FG knot.
Edit: Forgot to answer your leader length question. I tend to use a leader that is about the length of the rod, so about 5-6 feet of leader. This is solely because I often retie/swap lures a lot during a typical fishing trip and I dont' want to tie on another section of leader until I go home.
For leader length, I usually tie on at least 7-8 feet so I don't need to waste time on the water tying connection knots if I get snagged and need to break my lure/hook off.
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Will doadam lancia wrote:An FG knot or a Crazy Alberto/Improved Albright are my preferred order knots. For tying fluoro to the hook, look up the Shaw Grigsby fluoro knot. It's easy to the and is strong.
on lighter test braid or nan o fil I do spider hitch or bimini twist to double the line to make things easier