i think rod is a matter of trust. almost all rod is discontinuous. this makes it interdependant on itself. mast column failures are the result of failure of any one part. continuous rod would be safer imho, for cruising. however, i rather view it like crossing an avalache prone slope in the mountains, a less than one percent chance starts to be pretty uncomfortable after many exposures.
for rerigging rod to wire, this is essentially a re-engineering project and well as the rigging work. there are some good books on this, i would start with the rigger's apprentice as being the most accessable.