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Friction Knot or Mechanical Device

cjr4497

New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
25
I am 220 and use a ropeman on both my teather and lineman's belt. It is perfectly safe. Even with a tender I find it a pain to adjust a friction hitch after I put my weight on it.

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BTaylor

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Oct 23, 2019
Messages
2,101
Location
Central Arkansas
Do you have one to suggest for my overweight ass, LOL?
There are several guys on here more qualified than me to answer that question thoroughly. Maybe @Brocky @Fl Canopy Stalker @John RB or others can chime in with some options. I have transitioned to using the JRB ascender hitch but there a few others that might work for you, I just dont have experience with them.
 

Fl Canopy Stalker

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Feb 4, 2021
Messages
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Do you have one to suggest for my overweight ass, LOL?
Michoacán or the Schwabisch hitch… the key is to get cord that is about 75 or 80% of your lineman’s or tether rope size. Anything under 70% works but will bite like an alligator that doesn’t miss a meal….
 

MNFarmHunter

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Jun 6, 2021
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1,434
Location
Minnesota
This may have already been said on this other other similar threads.

The debate over friction hitches vs. mechanicals is alot like Ford vs. Chevy. Each have their pros and cons and it's mostly user preference.

Mechanicals:
Pros:
- Simple to use
- Will not "bite down" like a friction hitch can
Cons:
- Costly
- Bulky
- "Can" damage rope during shock loading

Friction hitches:
Pros:
- Cheap
- Lighter
- If damaged, just make a new one
Cons:
- High degree of knowledge/skill to tie properly
- Potential for catastrophic failure if tied wrong
- Greater time required to setup vs. a mechanical

I was taught with friction hitches and had mechanicals=bad drilled into my head for the cons listed above though this was also under rescue conditions. I like friction hitches and can geek out on them but don't use them for hunting. The reason is simplicity. If it's dark, cold, rainy, tired, distracted, in a hurry or anything else, I can slap a mechanical on and be as close to 100% confident that it's done correctly. A friction hitch takes time and focus to verify it's tied correctly.

I carry hollow blocks as a backup but don't use them as a primary. I don't discourage, in fact recommend that people learn friction hitches but simplicity is my chief consideration as simplicity=safety.
 

John RB

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Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
559
Location
Fort Washington, PA
This may have already been said on this other other similar threads.

The debate over friction hitches vs. mechanicals is alot like Ford vs. Chevy. Each have their pros and cons and it's mostly user preference.

Mechanicals:
Pros:
- Simple to use
- Will not "bite down" like a friction hitch can
Cons:
- Costly
- Bulky
- "Can" damage rope during shock loading

Friction hitches:
Pros:
- Cheap
- Lighter
- If damaged, just make a new one
Cons:
- High degree of knowledge/skill to tie properly
- Potential for catastrophic failure if tied wrong
- Greater time required to setup vs. a mechanical

I was taught with friction hitches and had mechanicals=bad drilled into my head for the cons listed above though this was also under rescue conditions. I like friction hitches and can geek out on them but don't use them for hunting. The reason is simplicity. If it's dark, cold, rainy, tired, distracted, in a hurry or anything else, I can slap a mechanical on and be as close to 100% confident that it's done correctly. A friction hitch takes time and focus to verify it's tied correctly.

I carry hollow blocks as a backup but don't use them as a primary. I don't discourage, in fact recommend that people learn friction hitches but simplicity is my chief consideration as simplicity=safety.
I agree with your statements but not the conclusion. I see no circumstances where a hunter needs to tie a friction hitch in the woods. There's always a way to have all the knots pretied. I probably have a dozen different rope climbing systems in my basement... and all of em just needed a bit of cord... but I wouldn't even be able to find mechanicals for my smallest ropes.

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Fl Canopy Stalker

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Feb 4, 2021
Messages
3,475
This may have already been said on this other other similar threads.

The debate over friction hitches vs. mechanicals is alot like Ford vs. Chevy. Each have their pros and cons and it's mostly user preference.

Mechanicals:
Pros:
- Simple to use
- Will not "bite down" like a friction hitch can
Cons:
- Costly
- Bulky
- "Can" damage rope during shock loading

Friction hitches:
Pros:
- Cheap
- Lighter
- If damaged, just make a new one
Cons:
- High degree of knowledge/skill to tie properly
- Potential for catastrophic failure if tied wrong
- Greater time required to setup vs. a mechanical

I was taught with friction hitches and had mechanicals=bad drilled into my head for the cons listed above though this was also under rescue conditions. I like friction hitches and can geek out on them but don't use them for hunting. The reason is simplicity. If it's dark, cold, rainy, tired, distracted, in a hurry or anything else, I can slap a mechanical on and be as close to 100% confident that it's done correctly. A friction hitch takes time and focus to verify it's tied correctly.

I carry hollow blocks as a backup but don't use them as a primary. I don't discourage, in fact recommend that people learn friction hitches but simplicity is my chief consideration as simplicity=safety.
You bring up some valid points. I do disagree with a couple of your conclusions though.
It’s not a “can” damage the rope in shock loading. In 100 percent of drop tests from an independent European case study, the ropeman 1 cut the rope as soon as it passed the 1000 lbs threshold. In a dynamic event forces “can” and do reach 1000 lbs of force. Especially on static rope. So while I agree with some of your pros and cons it isn’t a “can” damage it’s a will damage- not a big deal if your system is always taut and you never introduce slack. I also agree with JRB there’s no reason to tie a friction hitch in the woods in the dark. The hitches can and should be tied and tested at home long before use in hunting scenarios.
 

John RB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
559
Location
Fort Washington, PA
On my tether, a swabish knot, friction knot. On my LB a ropeman 1.
Thats a fine combo. As much as i don't recommend a Ropeman on a tether, I have no problem with it on a Lineman's belt. It's not nearly as controllable in letting slack into it (to expand the belt) as a friction hitch like the JRB Ascender but it does the job and used properly, we should never have a schock load on a LB.

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Jammintree

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
327
there’s no reason to tie a friction hitch in the woods in the dark. The hitches can and should be tied and tested at home long before use in hunting scenarios.
I climb Ddrt using a self tending Blake’s hitch, is it possible to tie this at home? Seems to me it has to be done in the field, and I feel comfortable doing so. But I’m always excited to learn new Tricks.

As for my tether and Lineman’s belt I’ve been using prussics with no trouble adjusting them. They do sometimes require an extra moment of consideration to adjust, and I like that: it’s a good way to remind me to sit still.

I do plan on incorporating a swabish knot this summer into my routine to see how i like it.
 

Fl Canopy Stalker

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Messages
3,475
I climb Ddrt using a self tending Blake’s hitch, is it possible to tie this at home? Seems to me it has to be done in the field, and I feel comfortable doing so. But I’m always excited to learn new Tricks.

As for my tether and Lineman’s belt I’ve been using prussics with no trouble adjusting them. They do sometimes require an extra moment of consideration to adjust, and I like that: it’s a good way to remind me to sit still.

I do plan on incorporating a swabish knot this summer into my routine to see how i like it.
For the self tending version you will have to tie one friction hitch (the one pulling up the tail of your Blake’s) in the woods. You can run an open system (split tail) and not have to tie your main supporting hitch (your Blake’s) in the woods. This statement was more addressing new guys who aren’t comfortable with knot or hitching tying especially in low light situations. I personally have no issues tying in the woods or in the dark. I guess I need to carefully word my posts to separate the guys new to hitch climbing, from the ones who have experience doing it.
 

Fl Canopy Stalker

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Messages
3,475
I climb Ddrt using a self tending Blake’s hitch, is it possible to tie this at home? Seems to me it has to be done in the field, and I feel comfortable doing so. But I’m always excited to learn new Tricks.

As for my tether and Lineman’s belt I’ve been using prussics with no trouble adjusting them. They do sometimes require an extra moment of consideration to adjust, and I like that: it’s a good way to remind me to sit still.

I do plan on incorporating a swabish knot this summer into my routine to see how i like it.
However regardless you spent time at home practicing the knots and the ascent before season though. You didn’t just walk into the woods after watching a you tube video and try to climb ropes for the first or second time ever. JRB talks about his system being able to not tie anything in the woods. But that would also depend heavily on tree selection. I don’t care who the person is, you won’t get a hitch and carabiner to pull over a super tight crotch. You have to use cord and pull the flat end of the rope up and over then tie in. So I guess my blanket statement failed again, but so would his claim that his system wouldn’t require any tying in that scenario as well
 

John RB

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Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
559
Location
Fort Washington, PA
I climbed DRT or moving rope system for over 10 years in a self-tending system and I never tied a knot in the woods. Not even the tending loop. That can all be taken care of . It's completely doable. But it's a fact that I can't bring myself to use moving rope system anymore. Because it's just too inefficient. The only time I use it is if I want to find tune my jrb system and I just pull on one side.

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Jammintree

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SH Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
327
I climbed DRT or moving rope system for over 10 years in a self-tending system and I never tied a knot in the woods. Not even the tending loop. That can all be taken care of . It's completely doable. But it's a fact that I can't bring myself to use moving rope system anymore. Because it's just too inefficient. The only time I use it is if I want to find tune my jrb system and I just pull on one side.

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John, I watched your video on the JRB system. It looks great. However I don't know if it takes me that much longer to tie all my knots. And Frankly I find slow and steady spooks less deer. I'm curious about your platformless system as well. Could you say more? or perhaps we should PM so as to not highjack this thread!
 

John RB

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Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
559
Location
Fort Washington, PA
John, I watched your video on the JRB system. It looks great. However I don't know if it takes me that much longer to tie all my knots. And Frankly I find slow and steady spooks less deer. I'm curious about your platformless system as well. Could you say more? or perhaps we should PM so as to not highjack this thread!
This thread is about a friction hitch vs a mechanical device. And one of the things I am promoting is that there's simply no reason to tie a friction hitch in the woods, no matter what method you climb on. It's not just the time. Its the risk. For example, i don't know of any DRT climbers who have a backup for their Blake's hitch. And so if they screwed it up when they were tying it in the dark, it could cause catastrophe. And in freezing cold conditions... when you get out of the tree at night and your fingers are half frostbitt and then you don't even have the dexterity to untie it, which could be half frozen. I have been though all those scenarios.

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Jammintree

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Jan 5, 2021
Messages
327
This thread is about a friction hitch vs a mechanical device. And one of the things I am promoting is that there's simply no reason to tie a friction hitch in the woods, no matter what method you climb on. It's not just the time. Its the risk. For example, i don't know of any DRT climbers who have a backup for their Blake's hitch. And so if they screwed it up when they were tying it in the dark, it could cause catastrophe. And in freezing cold conditions... when you get out of the tree at night and your fingers are half frostbitt and then you don't even have the dexterity to untie it, which could be half frozen. I have been though all those scenarios.

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Are there any resources for learning what the JRB or the other methods that you suggest?
 

TNSTAAFL

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May 16, 2018
Messages
1,526
Are there any resources for learning what the JRB or the other methods that you suggest?
Search JRB tree climbing on YouTube. There's also a website and a Facebook page. Tons of helpful stuff.

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SNIPERBBB

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Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
801
Location
SE Ohio
How often do you really adjust your tether? That would be a bigger determining factor for getting an ascender for adjustment. As a guy using rope methods, adjusting the factory prussic on the tether really doesn't happen much and if your attached to your climbing rope you can completely unweight the tether safely so its easier to adjust. You could do the same thing with your linesman for you stick climbers.
 
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