I've been making a lot of english horn reeds lately. I have used the beautiful Chinese reeds for many concerts in the past few years because I've been trying to perfect my own reed style.
I'm now making a much longer reed from tip to end of staple. I tie the blank on the staple as high as it will go without having a gap in the sides (although this gap can be covered with PTFE tape or cling film).
I highly recommend making a fairly hard reed but it must be balanced so that the tip is thin enough. A little cane off at a time is better for EH reeds. Let the reed mature on your drying rack for another day before scrapping too much off.
I also recommend playing on the very tip of the reed. I find that my intonation is much better when I do this. But again, the reed must be strong and well balanced. Dynamic control is much easier when playing on the tip with a harder reed.
Let me know if you agree or not - I welcome comments or suggestions :)