The fundamental premise seems to be wrong. When hove to, the main and the rudder oppose the backed headsail. The jib wants to push the nose off the wind. The main and rudder together push the nose toward the wind. When all is in balance, it's hove to, and all that's left is a slow forereach. At this point, the main is filled and working.
If you were able to reef the main then, the forces will no longer be in balance. The jib would push the nose off the wind.
You've already solved the second problem, that of reefing. Go back out and see if you can't get it to heave to, with the main working against the backed jib.