We've had reef ties on several boats over the years. I have the grommets for them on my 35' sloop, but don't use them and don't even have them installed. Now that we've retrofitted single line reefing (led to the cockpit), we'd rather not go on deck for reef ties, anyway.
We had a catboat (with a boom longer than the LOD) for 15 years and would use the ties if we had more than one reef. The need here was to gather a lot of sailcloth: didn't want to catch anything in a gybe and also wanted to minimize visual blockage. The key here is to have long enough reef ties so they could be tied loosely, as the previous commenter indicated.
Going back to the sloop, we opted to eliminate the shelf last time we ordered a new main. We have lines in the leech and foot to minimize flutter.