I only use reverse with my explodet.
If you can master the ability to reverse while rocketing it can actually prove quite useful. In fact you can drastically increase the speed of your rocket if you do it right. When you reverse into a circle and at the top of the arc you launch a rocket it gains the momentum you've had. Reverse also helps when you're trying to get from the bottom to the top of the map quickly because you don't stall out like you would with a normal afterburner.
Admittedly, I only really play an explodet in planeball but still something to throw out there.