Who's real world experience? Yours??
I know it's hard for you to believe, but you are not the only duck hunter on this forum.
I imagine I've been hunting ducks AT LEAST as long as you have, possibly have as many days devoted to that sport....maybe more.
I'd not be at all surprised to learn you've a decade or more of duck hunting on me. Especially if you're one who counts riding to the blind on P-paw's shoulders. I didn't do more than that sort of thing and get serious about it until after the service and a couple years' hiatus from shooting anything. Did get to go for many, if not most, open mornings from the mid '70s until '84 when I started guiding full time and quite literally haven't missed an open duck day since - though many of them were spent with geese being our primary target in those early years. If you've time in grade on me, good on ya. Again, I hope you're still getting out and not just hunting for things to expound upon on these boards. .
All of which, however, is "neither here or there". I can imagine someone lacking the physical senses to notice the balance difference two inches of barrel makes, but "Where it does make a difference is when hanging up on brush, limbs, cattails, bulrush, tules, etc. begins to be a problem. In those cases, the loss of even two inches is noticeable (to me, anyway).Hunting out of a layout blind/boat is a prime example." smacks of purest conjecture and lack of meaningful experience. It's the same silly argument some upland hunters try to make with conjecture in their heads, rather than time in the thick and thorny, only it's even sillier when applied to waterfowling.