I also prefer shorter rods for close skipping, 6' in both casting and spinning. I noticed more control and accuracy using the shorter rods.
A standard IM8 with a fast action and medium power works well for 3/8 oz or higher. I do better with IM7 mod/fast or moderate action and medium power for lighter than 3/8 oz.
When using a baitcaster, I take some off the tension and add more brake for skipping. When going weightless on the lure, it's strictly spinning tackle for me.