You treat it just like wire, and most riggers I have spoken with agree (Brion Toss being first to tell me)
You set the stays to "firm" and go out for a sail in light air, tightening the leeward side as you tack back and forth. For this you can use your hands. I have also used a halyard
to bring up on the tail of the deadeye, usually for the backstay while at the dock
. It is 8-1 purchase
, so you get as much tension as you want.
The option is also there to use your turnbuckles. You can see that at Colligomarine.com
There is currently no "Loos guage" that works on rope, but boats are out circumnavigating without it. Brion showed me how you can "twang" a stay to hear if it is close to other side. Also by yanking on it. It sounds funky, but is pretty darn close.