The biggest problem I see people have with 2 piece rods is having the tip half fly off while casting. That being said, I have a couple of 2 piece rods and have never had the tip half come off on a cast. I use my 2 piece 10' Star rod almost every weekend both for casting lures or soaking bait....have hooked everything from tarpon, jacks, kings, snook, bonita, blacktips, etc and have never seen anything that would indicate any weakness in the rod from the joint. I have the same problem you do as far as driving a very small car (Mini Cooper)and the longest rod I can fit in it is 8' 9"....so when I had my custom made, I had them shorten the blank from 9' to 8'9". But to each his own!!