I use Cabela's L-Tech in both 4 and 5 wt for Stillwater. They are very light, powerful and reasonably priced rods with a great warranty. The 4wt is usually rigged for either a dry or intermediate line and the 5 wt easily rips a Deep 7 out of the water and lays it back out effortlessly. Plus they have about the best reel seat in the business regardless of price.
Ask the man that owns one. (Packard slogan that originated in 1902)
I've been pretty focused on stillwaters for about 10 years. I agree with previous comments about softer tips but I like rods that can be muscled when wind is a factor. Some good ones for me have been Cabelas L-Tech, Winston Vapor, Sage SP, and Loomis GLX classic.
Gotta say that I think rods are way less important than lines, terminal rigging, and puzzle solving when it comes to success on trout fishing in lakes.
Here are my suggestions for a 5wt depending on your budget and new vs. used:
Older high end rods - Sage LL or Sage SP
New high end rods - Scott Radian or Hardy Zenith
New budget rods - Redington CT or Echo Solo
I have fished the older Sage line-up for many years, but recently have added the newer Scott and Hardy, and I am impressed with the design. They are lighter but have more power yet retain a pretty soft feel. They can huck streamers and indicator rigs, but can also softly land a dry.
I've my old Powell light line 91/2 for 4/5...fished with WF4 lines. 4 wt. sinkers sink, but are fairly slow...too small to sink too fast. It's over 20 years old now, but i love it..it's length helps with casting off of stillwater, it's soft tip protects tippets on big hits, it's flex and power all the way to the butt helps wind casting and landing big fish.
I'll probably be the only one around here who likes shorter rods for stillwaters (or the majority of fishing for that matter). Currently my two on-board rods are a 7'6" 4wt (I'll put a 5 on it sometimes) and an 8' 6wt. Both are glass. I also go in with the knowledge and acknowledgement that you can't cast as far for the most part (4wt sure, but my 6 is a cannon...so sort of true) and don't quite have the line control at distance, but the trade-off of ease of landing fish is totally worth it to me. You have to be a bit more keyed in to things as well, but I'm fine with that...that's part of what makes it more fun (for me). I figure I catch enough fish to make me happy...in fact, I fished a mountain stillwater last weekend and there were probably an equal amount of missed strikes (indi fishing---& after comparing notes at the end of the day) between me and my buddy who was fish a rod well over a foot longer than what I was using.
Steve, we may be talking about the same thing. I got a 5 wt bamboo rod from Mike Monsos earlier this year and the thing that struck me about is the feel was just like the Sage 5 wts LL and SP I favor. Actually Mike's rod is closer to the LL than the SP.
I have Mike's rod packed for about two weeks in Yellowstone. Tour bus leaves in a week.