I'm curious how and where on your rods your rods broke. Off hand I'd have to say it was the way you packed them without knowing the details. I fish a lot and the only rods I've ever seen break are from some form of damage that occured in the handling of the rod or trip up. Do you have a rod holder/container? Does the rod have objects on top of it when it is travelling? Has the rod struck something? If you baby your rods and they still are breaking skip the middle man and go straight to the manufacturer. I could break one of RAFs custom rods as quickly as a walmart special if my cooler or boat anchor sat on them. As for rod choice, what price range are you looking at? What kind of fishing are you doing? Trolling, jigging, float? Narrow down the perimeters and you will get a better idea of what you need. I use an ultra-light for jigging (I will never use anything else again) and a medium light for trolling, in case of snags. Once you've set your price range some window shopping will get you what you want. But seriously look into ultra light rods, it handled a 9lb walleye no problem and you will outfish your friends who aren't using one.