|Mort the Cleverly Named|
I agree, it is poorly written. Other weapons like the Flying Blade and Meteor Hammer work in similar ways but are not classified as Ranged Weapons. It even calls out the Meteor Hammer and uses the word "reach" in the description, but is not a normal reach weapon.
There are also extra issues. Like most ranged weapons it does not say whether it is light, one handed, or two handed for purposes of two-weapon fighting. It says one can "quickly retrieve the weapon with a tug," but lists no action. Perhaps free, perhaps swift like a weapon cord (at the time of writing), but it really isn't specified and table variation is likely to occur.
It isn't alone in that section of Ultimate Combat, either. Many weapons have unique rules (double-chained kama, double walking stick katana, and Kyoketsu shoge come to mind) but are not written in such a way to make them explicitly clear. These issues were brought up when the book was released but did not make the errata, so I would not hold out substantial hope of additional clarification.
Also, to anyone claiming "common sense" fixes all I would point out in this very thread people have applied different mind caulk to the rules to claim it can only attack 20' away or 10' away. So it is obviously not as obvious as you might think.