Since a long rod gets you tired, I will not even go there. You mentioned 9' 6" five times as a rod that works pretty well for what you like to do. Your other main concern is having a moderate rod that can throw light plugs in the 1/2 oz. range. A while back I was given the 9' NEX1, Here is what I had to say about it in another post on a 9' rod recommendation :
Take a good look at ODM. I have been testing there new proto type NEX1-935 that is going to be released this fall. It's a 9'- one peace - moderate action rod. With a lure rating range of 1/2 - 3 1/2 oz. On the high end side of the lure rating, this rod will cast a 3 1/2oz. plug no problem. The rod loads up comfortably, and puts it out there. The amazing side, is the low end side of the lure casting range. The other day I caste this 5/8 ounce Stan Gibbs, wooden Polaris popper into a 2 mile an hour head wind, 50 yards.
The rod has a maximum drag rating of 18 pounds, with enough backbone too put a smile on your face.
Hope this helps; Good Luck and tight lines
By the way the plug was stopped as the line touched a 25' tall pine tree at 50 yards.
So since your main concern is the low end of the rod; why not start out with the NEX1-935 with the low end you are looking for, and add a 6" butt extension. I recently got a custom 10' 6" Frontier X with a 6" butt extension and could not be happier with the results. You will get the low end you want, and if anything increase the high end side of the rod. A win win on a rod you are looking to build.
Hope this helps.