While I do know a few shooting head casters who experienced the 10151 blow-up, it became a regular occurance with long line casters I know. We were calling it the "Mission Impossible Rod" - you know "this rod will self-destruct in 6 casts" in fact it was getting ridiculous. I'm not sure what went on with the rods, I know my first one (which I got as soon as they hit the market) lasted over 2 years before the 3rd section broke, now I don't believe that break was related to design, the replacements however, blew up like clockwork. Dana refused to cast one as they all blew up on him, I refused to use my Speydriver as it was too much line. As RLN said he did 2 in one day!
Per Stadigh used to rib me about the rod destruction saying that he loved his and the shooting head guys in Scandinavia (most everybody) loved the rod and they never broke it! Well, when he returned from Russia that summer he told me that he was no longer a 10151 virgin - he broke 3! So you are right short heads could do it too. It wasn't the size of the ship - but maybe the motion of the ocean had something to do with it? I had a couple of them go during what I considered relatively short casts - not maximum load!
I loved that original rod though, it was totally sweet! I finally demanded and got the redesigned blank from Sage and while it is still a very good rod it does not act like the original. Yes, it stays in 4 pieces (an admirable trait) but it is a little "clubby" when compared to the old rod. It is too bad, for while I fish the new one I constantly long for the old rod's action.