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Shifting from Ropeman 1 to hitch on 11mm tether.....suggestions that have been field tested

Alaska at Heart

Active Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2023
Messages
184
Location
West Michigan
I bought my first saddle rig as a used package deal last fall, including an unknown 11mm tether with Ropeman 1, Latitude 8mm Vapor Line linemans and two Tethrd mesh dump pouches. After testing it out, I made an EWO order for a pair of saddle cloth dump pouches and then bought a replacement 11mm Predator tether, to which the Ropeman was reattached. Everything worked fine for me, but a friend has been chirping in my ear a bit about the Ropeman vs a quality fristion hitch.....for silence and safety. Since season ended New Years Day, I have been doing some online research and consulting some older SH threads on the topic of hitches. I want a one and done, meaning a very dependable replacement for the Ropeman that is tied and functions safely for next season. I plans to use different climbing stick I own for ascending, so rope techniques and such won't be part of the mix....at least that is my plan in mid-winter for what will happen next fall. The same friend suggested the Longhorn Agile as a good option and I have watched a video of it. Agree...disagree......alternatives?
 
I bought my first saddle rig as a used package deal last fall, including an unknown 11mm tether with Ropeman 1, Latitude 8mm Vapor Line linemans and two Tethrd mesh dump pouches. After testing it out, I made an EWO order for a pair of saddle cloth dump pouches and then bought a replacement 11mm Predator tether, to which the Ropeman was reattached. Everything worked fine for me, but a friend has been chirping in my ear a bit about the Ropeman vs a quality fristion hitch.....for silence and safety. Since season ended New Years Day, I have been doing some online research and consulting some older SH threads on the topic of hitches. I want a one and done, meaning a very dependable replacement for the Ropeman that is tied and functions safely for next season. I plans to use different climbing stick I own for ascending, so rope techniques and such won't be part of the mix....at least that is my plan in mid-winter for what will happen next fall. The same friend suggested the Longhorn Agile as a good option and I have watched a video of it. Agree...disagree......alternatives?

I ditched all Ropeman years ago and don't regret it. What hitch you choose will be dependent on how you use it and the rope/cord combo you have. Here is a thread with 32 pages worth of discussion if you haven't seen it yet. https://saddlehunter.com/community/index.php?threads/friction-hitches.47470/

@Brocky and several others seem to be a fan of the soft sticht: https://saddlehunter.com/community/index.php?threads/friction-hitches.47470/post-779497

I have this post bookmarked to play with it this summer.

The hitch I have been using for a couple of years and been mostly satisfied with is the Cosmo hitch: https://saddlehunter.com/community/index.php?threads/better-than-a-distel-hitch.30955/
 
You are right I would switch also.... please send that trashy Ropeman 1
To:
Dale Mixon
190 zipperer Road
Guyton GA. 31312

I will happily pay for you shipping so I can properly dispose of it.
There was supposed to be an "Lol" at the end of my post.
There were some guys using very nice hitches at the Florida get together this past weekend but I can't remember the name of the hitch.
Good luck in your quest and keep us posted.
 
I have rope man 1s on my big tether and linesman’s belt. It’s not the lightest rig in 11 or 13mm (whatever the bigger tethrd is) but it’s comfortable to use and works just fine. If I’m hunting off sticks I’ll use them since I’m not carrying things far. It packs into the tethrd sys hauler with enough stuff if I’ve preset sticks. And for those situations it’s usually wonky trees that change in diameter a lot or have a lot of branches so the quick adjustability is nice.

On my 2tc setup and rappel rope I’ve gone to hitches. For 2tc on a standard tether it’s not critical to have quick adjustability most of the time. And in a rappel rope I didnt want a mad rock so I went to a longhorn agile hitch. I’ll 2tc the second half of the year when trees are sparse and I’m going higher than I want to carry sticks for.

Both have their place.
 
On my dedicated tether, meaning I don’t want to remove the hitch, I haven’t found anything better for me that the soft stitch hitch! Grabs immediately, tends one handed after being fully loaded for hours and is the most compact hitch I’ve used! 7mm or 8mm hitch cord on the 11mm tether should work very well.
 
I haven't tried the soft stitch yet. I have been running The JRB Ascender or the JRB Longhorn Agile. The JRB Ascender is pretied onto my climbing rope/ tether. I climb on my rope using it and also use it to attach to my bridge at hunting height. I have also rappelled on it without using anything else, but that was only in testing and a couple of times when things didn't go well and I had a problem. I also use the JRB compact ascender on my lineman's and on my bridge.
 
On my dedicated tether, meaning I don’t want to remove the hitch, I haven’t found anything better for me that the soft stitch hitch! Grabs immediately, tends one handed after being fully loaded for hours and is the most compact hitch I’ve used! 7mm or 8mm hitch cord on the 11mm tether should work very well.
I copied and pasted 'soft stitch hitch' into Google to check it out and there was no reference to the 'soft'. The version they had available on their short tutorial videos had a metal ring as part of the process.....which somewhat defeats the purpose of getting rid of metal on my tether setup. Is the 'soft' using a different type of keeper? Thanks for the suggestion.....have you tried the Cosmo or Longhor Agile?
 
I copied and pasted 'soft stitch hitch' into Google to check it out and there was no reference to the 'soft'. The version they had available on their short tutorial videos had a metal ring as part of the process.....which somewhat defeats the purpose of getting rid of metal on my tether setup. Is the 'soft' using a different type of keeper? Thanks for the suggestion.....have you tried the Cosmo or Longhor Agile?

There's a link to the soft stitch in my post #5 above.
 
Indeed, you did. I opened the first link and must have missed the second. Thanks for the clarification. Do you tie it with a soft ring or using part of the hitch?

Haven’t messed with it yet. There’s several people that like it though so I plan on trying both this summer.
 
I watched a number of hitch tying videos last night and decided to try the Longhorn Agile this morning. After watching JRB a few times to get the nuances, I test tied my 20' 7mm Sterling a couple times and then cut it to the recommended 7' length. That seems crazy long, but figuring it is first tied into the Longhorn loop, then applied in the Agile style to the tether, it works out very well. After tying it on, I put on my saddle and took it out to test on a front yard tree at ground level. The hitch held great, adusted easily and after sitting for 5 minutes with full body weight, it broke right away without and binding like a Prusik. Ropeman came off and is presently in a storage duffle where I keep my saddle testing gear. The LA will get a lot more testing over the spring and summer before it goes to the woods at hunting height this fall, but it seems like a very good option. I would like to test out the Cosmo and the soft sticht as well to compare. Appreciate the suggestions, links and advice.
 
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FWIW, I used the soft sticht on my tether towards the end of the season and was really happy with the way it tends one handed. I've never used a mechanical device but of all the friction hitches I've tried it is by far the easiest to tend.
 
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