I like rope reins in the winter as they have the same feel wet or dry and don't get slippery when wet. I use them for hacking most of the year and get on with them just fine. I use split western reins but you can get them in a continuous loop like english reins.
I used to use rope reins and found them nice and soft, but over the last year or so I've swapped over to the Zilco woven reins. Similar feel to the rope ones, but the brass clips come off and they go in the washing machine!