I then moved on to trying out various rope strops, all of my own making, I went though a couple of different lengths and thickness of ropes/hitches before I came up with what I am currently using.
The rope is actually a 3m replacement rope for the Petzl Grillon, which I chose because I wanted an 11mm rope with a spliced/stitched eye either end and this was actually the most cost effective way (about £30ish) and came with the added bonus of the protective sheath. This is particularly good for keeping rope and hitch clean when working on conifers or dirty trees.
I chose 3m as with my style of climbing I rarely need anything longer as I'm usually able to get most places in a tree with just my main anchor point and use the lanyard only to attain my final working position. This means I don't have to drag a long lanyard around the tree getting it tangled and caught up on everything, or have to daisy chain it or stuff it into a stuff sack.
I use a hitch climber as the tending pulley because of the added versatility the additional attachment holes provide, allowing me to use it as a secondary DRT (double rope technique) anchor when needed. Or if I need a little extra length as a SRT (single rope technique) strop (assent/positioning only)
The stitched eyes have a protective plastic covering that holds the DMM ultra O karabina firmly in place making clipping in one handed very easy. (These are my crab of choice at the moment, full review to come)
Having a spliced eye either end negates the use of a stopper knot
And enables me to clip both ends up out of the way, keeping everything nice and neat as well as not having to drag it along the floor when I walking around on the deck
The hitch cord is 8mm Sirius and works really nicely on a Distle with this rope, it rarely jams and grips every time.
All in all I love my current set up and would replicate it in a heart beat should any element need replacing at any point. I much prefer the versatility and flexibility of a rope strop over the rigidity and additional safety of a wire core.
I'm always interested in other climbers setups if anyone wants to share theirs?