I have never broken a fly rod.
Correction: I have only broken one fly rod.
This is my Orvis Clearwater 5wt mid flex. My first fly rod. It's given me years of good service. I wish I had a great story about its demise. Something with the words 'monster brown trout' and 'screaming reel' and 'shattered into splinters but the beast still ended up in the net.'
But my story is more like most people's stories of broken rods. I ran over it with my car.
Oh the details are not important. Rod propped against a mirror, a door closed in a hurry to beat a rainstorm, a beer and a conversation later providing more than enough time to forget the rod. Backing up, an awful noise accompanied by instant realization. I opened the door, saw the rod and reached for it. Didn't budge. Maybe because the front wheel was pinning it to the ground. When I pulled forward to free it I was relieved to find that the butt section was intact. The tip, however, was not so lucky.
And to add insult to injury, this is the last fish ever caught with it.