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Hey friends. Sorry I am late to the party. I posted a similar blurb in the Fricton Hitches thread earlier tonight...

I do my best to learn and use the correct terminology and so instead of writing things down in my own personal notes, I am regularly updating the dictionary on my website. It's a work in progress, but so is everything, right? Below is what I have gathered on the tend / tender / self tending topic. Comments welcome. By the way, using cordage as a tender is not something I have seen before. It's typically a rigid device so as to minimize rope rubbing on rope in a concentrated area.

tend / tender/ self tending
Tend: An action/verb causing the movement of a friction device in a desired direction. In rope climbing ascent, the friction device is tended upward for progress capture, removing / minimizing slack in the system.
Tender (or Tending Device) is a device which tends a friction hitch in the desired direction. Pulleys, rings and carabiners are commonly employed as tenders.
Self Tending: The literal definition applies : Tends itself. In the context of describing a system vs a hitch, there are subtle differences.
Self Tending System: A self tending system is one which has automatic progress capture, requiring no manual action to advance the friction device. Example: “Double Blake’s Hitch MRS System”. Note that a self tending system might use a tender.
Self Tending Friction Hitch: One which allows the removal of slack with only one hand by pulling on the tag end of the rope and without the use of a tender. Example 1: Shorten a Tether or Lineman’s belt with one hand. Example 2: Climber is connected to the tree via a friction hitch to a Lifeline which is secured to the tree. Climber steps up, introducing slack, and pulls the tag end of the rope outward and upward, removing the slack with one hand.

JrbTreeClimbing.com, affiliated with RockNArbor.com
A few other options are putting the eyes through a piece of tubing or pipe, or using a small double eye dogbone. The white hitch uses a half hitch in back, and the lower part of the Soft Sticht can be added to most friction hitches for self tending and easy releasing.
View attachment 98995
On that double eye dogbone you have, do both loops attach to the carabiner?

How do you tie this?
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I used 550 cord for a prusik tender on my lineman’s rope as well and it did the job well. However, as much as I try to avoid mechanical devices, I did recently switch to a Kong Duck for my lineman’s rope after getting my prusik and tender gummed up with pine sap on a climb last season, which left me midway up a tree without any practical means of adjusting my lineman’s belt, which was frustrating.
How has the Kong performed in sap?
Am I missing something? ( other than the sap issue )
This simple 550 loop is working great for this prusik, and for my others that have a long tail on it, I make a longer loop and tie an overhand knot that keeps it tighter to the prusik. I don't feel like digging one out of my gear, but hopefully you all get the idea.


  • Prusik Tender.png
    Prusik Tender.png
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There is a lot of arm movement to get the Prusik moving and the hitch loop has the potential to get caught on the carabiner gate, possibly leading to side loading. And some prefer midline attachability.
So some of these devices are for one handed operation and the other is a backup if the first device fails ?
They only tend, the Sticht bottom also creates friction that takes some of the load off the wraps.
So some of these devices are for one handed operation and the other is a backup if the first device fails ?
The thread is about a tender and what it does: a tender is a simple device which tends/moves a friction hitch in a desired direction. There are many possible designs. In some of the responses above, we see that if we are willing to deal with a good amount of arm movement and travel/setback, on a short friction hitch, we can run the rope thru the carabiner so that it acts like a tending device. If ya play around with that, you'll find its a little klunky, particularly on a Prusik which binds pretty hard. That conversation leads to another option which is to use one of the more nifty friction hitches which has a self tending feature allowing relatively easy movement with NO tender and virtually no setback/travel. Those hitches include the Sticht, WLR, and mine: Longhorn Agile and JRB Ascender. But most friction hitches don't have that capability and need something to tend the hitch in order to shorten the system with one hand.

The concept of using a friction hitch as a BACKUP for a mechanical device is a different topic. Thats not what this thread is about. But its a good idea and we have to evaluate what features are most important. For example, even though any of the hitches mentioned work as a backup, we really don't need the tending feature in a backup. We might be able to use something simpler to tie for a backup.

JrbTreeClimbing.com, affiliated with RockNArbor.com
A tender can also be the cord ends tied in back, or the hitch’s legs configured to push up on it. Just came up with one for long loop users. A loop is formed in back with one side of the loop, and a bight is put inside. The Double Fishermen’s bend has a longer tail which is put through the bight, stopper on the tail for security.