Particle trails using Ribbons

Hi Guys and Gals

TLDR: How do I extend the length of my ribbons ?

I’m trying to create a firework effect and am having serious trouble with the smoke trail effect.
I currently have an explosion made of 300 particles called ex (seen on the right)
which is working as intended
It uses a sphere as a base and velocity / life to inflate said particle in an explosion motion
as you can see below

on to this I have attached a ribbon particle to give each ember a trail.
This works, but I want to adjust the length of the trail.
Something I wouldn’t have thought would be that hard.

Having banged my head against this problem for 2 days however I felt like I should ask the experts.
It was my understanding that increasing the lifetime of a ribbon particle would increase the length of the trail it left behind
However this does not seem to be the case.
Increasing the lifetime only has the effect of have my stubby trails linger for longer after the explosion has faded

what am I doing wrong?
Am I fundamentally misunderstanding something here?
I would really appreciate any feedback or any suggestions on how else one might go about achieving this effect.