Re: The Broken Rod Poll; Edited, New Catagory added.
Your story is the first (I think) of this nature. I'm curious how this happened but know it would be difficult to describe in detail. I always string rods by taking about 6" of the fly lines tip - doubling it over unto itself making a loop in the front of the bend, and then thread this through each guide. Even if the line escapes your grip while stringing up, the loop formed gets caught in the guides and stops the line from falling back to the reel. Once the looped line with leader attached is clear of the guides I'm ready to tie on the fly.
I'm not quite sure how you ended up with a broken tip but the part where the fly rod was "down behind me" could well be the culprit here. It is very seldom that I lay a rod on the ground, it happens sometimes when trying to get the hook from a fish especially if the rod is 13 - 15' long. The long rods are a bit cumbersome when you land fish and if there is no handy bush or tree to lean the rod against I lay them down. When this happens I am like a guy walking on egg shells until I have it back safely in my hands.
I'm sorry to hear that this happened, what rod, and are you fixing it? (sending it in)