Thanks for the response and comments! In answer to your questions I was fishing Great Lakes (PM) King Salmon - average size in the 16 lb range, largest this trip was about 28 pounds. Since I have to travel by air getting to the stream, and prefer to travel light while on the stream, it makes it difficult to bring a net so I have to "tail" the fish. My "tailing" process involves tiring the fish out, bringing the fish in close to me by holding the rod in my right hand as far from my body as I can, and reaching down with my left hand and grabbing the fish by the peduncle or tail. I have landed hundreds of salmon this way over the years without incident. Which is why I was so surprised to snap two rods the first day; the first rod on my very first fish of the trip. If there is a beach available that is my first choice but frequently there is no "beach" or shallow water around so I take the fish into the calmer knee deep water and grab it by the tail. I usually reel the butt section of the leader into the guides, pinch the line against the grip and release the drag incase the fish bolts. I realize that this puts a pretty fair amount of strain on the rod, but I have always done it this way and it hasn't been a problem with the Sage OR the 6wt St. Croix SCIV.
I would really like to find a multi piece blank to build a new salmon rod on that will allow me to land fish this way. Any suggestions?