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What causes a fishing pole's rod to become weak and brittle?

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Never had it happen like this before, I was out fishing on the creek bank, just hooked a worm on, tossed my line in. I couldn't get a nibble or anything for 15 minutes so I decided to reel it in, check my bait, and recast. Well, this is when it all went to hell; I was reeling in and caught a snag somewhere in a creek, I tried to just pull and tug on the fishing rod as if there were a fish on my line, having only 10 pound test line on my fishing pole, the line would have snapped before anything severe happened or at least I thought! The tip of my pole snapped off, just splintered like a twig.

So out of curiosity, what makes a fishing pole so brittle? Anything I can do to prevent it? My fishing rod was "granite"