no, i don't tie off. my experience is that the tension does not really equalize - it did not in the old wooden days, nor does it with the much more slippery plastic grommets today - i used nblades and now mantis sticks.
what makes me so sure that it does not really equalize? when i cut out the strings when the stringjob is broken, they do make different sounds when snipping. i do agree that some portion of the tension differential equalizes, but not all.
i also indicated that i do the upper 6 crosses lower, and the feel is quite similar on a freshly strung (and 24hrs rested!) stick as it is with the one that is about to break.