My aim when developing young pines is to maintain some small branches where they'll be needed when the trunk reaches the desired thickness. You can see some examples of this here:
Of several hundred pines I've grown from seed to at least 7 years old, I don't know that I've had to decandle more than a couple in the first 5 years to keep the lower branches in check.
Once the upper branches start to really gain vigor, the lower branches naturally stay short and weak. If they get too weak I can cut back or decandle the sacrifice branches. If they get too strong, I can cut them back or decandle them, though I've rarely found occasion to slow down the lower branches before the trees reach 5-7 years old.
Once the trunk reaches the desired size, I start developing the younger branches, usually between 5-10 years old. At this point I'll start decandling while incrementally reducing the sacrifice branches.
When all of the lower branches have become large, I'll graft.
All of that said, you can always decandle along the way if you need to generate more branches. It's not a bad technique, per se, but it does slow the tree down, and with planning it may not be necessary. I've been experimenting with decandling a bit more with young trees and find that while it can help keep young branches in check, it typically sets back development by a year or two.