Wireluff furlers, like the one you saw—that do not use a foil over the headstay, are FURLERS ONLY. They can not be used for reefing the sail as a general rule and are generally used for light air sails only.
My Jib Halyard is connected to the top part of my furler and when there is no sail on the furler the top piece is shackled to the furler so it may appear that the furler is attached to the jib halyard. I have a Schaefer Snapfurl CF700 that has a swivel piece that connects to the head of the sail and I use the the jib halyard to pull the luff of the sail up the foil to hoist the sail then furl it. I can easily switch from jib to genoa this way and do not have to leave a headsail on the furler full time. I can choose the sail I want for the day and hoist it then furl it. I could easily see how someone might think the furler is connected to the halyard when there is no sail on the furler because the halyard is connected to the swivel and then the swivel shackled to the the drum so that I can pull the halyard real tight so that it does not flap in the wind and slap the mast.