The Final Rig
After the lawn casting decision made on initial testing, I was able to take advantage of a bit of open still-water to give the new rod a try loading on a surface other than grass and snow. Here is what I found, and the decision made on the Cabelas CGR 7' 4/5wt. My needs with the little rod were as such:
I wanted to be able to toss a small indicator and #14-down Bead-head rig if need-be. I wanted to also be able to throw a #10-12 Dry Stimmie, Humpy, Caddis.....etc with confidence in order to still make it work if there was a noticeable breeze.
While the Mastery Headstart WF4 configuration did cast extremely well on the lawn. An addition to the test put all the competition to rest.
With loading on the water and a slight 6-8 mph wind present, the Cortland 555 DT5 stole the show. It was able to straighten out a 5 1/2' furled thread leader and 6' 5x fluorocarbon tippet into the slight breeze with ease. Along with a #10 Great White Humpy. It was also able to roll=cast a #16 Bead-head nymph with a 1/2" Thing-a-ma-bobber with no issues as well. Will it be my go-to wind or big water rod? No. But it was able to do what I asked it to do at a reasonable limit of expectation with ease.
The result....the 555 DT5 line is now on a Cortland Retro II reel and the above rig will be in my hand as soon as the weather breaks.