In my opinion neither. When you go the ends of the spectrum, whether short (to me, that is under 12') or long (to me, that is over 14') you need to make adjustments that aren't necessarily conducive to learning and may limit you in the long run. 12-14' is a good middle ground and practical for most fishing too. Same with lines. Really short and really long heads are more specialized tools.I no, practice , practice ,practice. But when learning are you better off with a long or short rod
Have to wonder if you are fishing skagit systems with tips, or, touch-and-go?[...]
Okay with the above in mind, I found that just fishing was better than practicing casting. I first started taking trips to still water and practice my casting for hours, then I would head over to fish and things were different. Anchor placement is essential, but when you practice casting, be it on still water or lawn, you cannot mimic the river flow and what it does to your anchor. Since anchor placement is king, followed closely by the timing of your cast, I found it pointless to practice casting.