You probably don't want to hear this Ian Carter, but in all honesty your lack of casting performance will in all likelihood be down to your technique and just possibly how you have your kit set up.
There's no easy path to good casting and blaming the kit is a pretty std. thing for those on the learning ladder. Now I don't know your leader set up, but as long as the rod and line are well matched you should be faring better than you are. As others have said, lessons are the way to go, then practice, practice, practice, sorry but its the only way unless you are one of the truly gifted few.
Without a doubt there are better rods out there, but at the moment I don't think you're at the stage where you are ready to spend money. The Shaky. Scandi rods are very good for those on the learning ladder as they are easy going- which is what you want. Guideline make very good lines, but I think you might be better off with a floating head that matches your rod. Intermediate heads present a few more problems to overcome compared to floating heads that you might not be aware of yet. The leader is really quite important when casting heads, but that's very easily sorted.
Honestly, your predicament is not unfathomable and once you get a grip of certain issues I'm sure you'll fair better than you are.
One thing that will help is getting out there and doing it more and if possible fish in company or with a pal regular, you'll learn far quicker that way.
Wishing you all the best, Pedro.