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Synthetic Winch Line

Discussion in 'Winches' started by garage gnome, Apr 9, 2024.

  1. Apr 13, 2024

    dnb71R2 SuperDave 2023 Sponsor

    Grand Mesa, CO
    Aug 13, 2006
    If you don't winch often, a steel line is fine. I have never had one break or even come close to breaking. Use recommended precautions.
    All 3 of my winch equipped vehicles have steel line.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2024
    Twin2, dozerjim and timsresort like this.
  2. Apr 13, 2024

    timsresort Active Member 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    South Lake Tahoe CA
    Jan 22, 2014
    I see positives and negatives for both. Synthetic would be great for short pulls, with no dragging over rocks. Or when you're 3 feet deep in snow hiking a heavy line out, or in water, it floats. Also, I'm tired of loose strands of steel, smashed sections, and the weight. Last few times I've winched though, it was logs out of the Rubicon swimming hole, (dragging over the bank would not have been great on synthetic). And last summer a rolled rig on Cadillac, 2 synthetic lines snapped under load, not mine, but it wasn't great, and pretty much solidified me staying with steel. When the **** hits the fan, it still works.
  3. Apr 13, 2024

    Daryl Sponsor

    Bonney Lake, WA
    May 25, 2006
    If you pull cable every weekend, go synthetic.
    If your cable has been spooled since Carter was president, stick with steel cable.
    Tumbleweed, duffer, wheelie and 5 others like this.
  4. Apr 13, 2024

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
    Aug 3, 2003
    Maybe if you are talking just about self-rescue on the trail.

    IMHO, not so much if you "pull cable every week" for work with rocks, logs, stumps, manure wagons, etc.
    wheelie, Danefraz, Fireball and 2 others like this.
  5. Apr 28, 2024

    sterlclan Member 2024 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    exploring the...
    Feb 21, 2009
    pole trucks
    Fireball likes this.
  6. Apr 29, 2024
    Andrew Theros

    Andrew Theros Member 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Los Osos, CA
    Feb 24, 2021
    This, every digger derrick I have ever operated always had 7/8 synthetic braided line on the winch. Also our underground cable puller used the same synthetic but it was trailer mounted. Some of our cable pulling trucks used 9/16 steel cable, but we tended to stick to the synthetic as it is a bit easier on the plastic and clay conduits.
    vtxtasy, Fireball and Danefraz like this.
  7. May 1, 2024

    duffer Rodent Power

    Bozeman, MT
    Sep 17, 2009
    I think the original application of synthetic rope was for marine use where it very clearly has a BIG advantage over steel. Back in the 60's, when I got started down this road, synthetic was obviously not an option and I used steel for decades but it is no longer my first choice. For the reasons Fireball expressed above, I have zero plans to buy any more steel cable. Yes, synthetic is more vulnerable to abrasion but you can take measures to avoid that. And whether or not it breaks on a pull depends entirely on where/what you purchased. I will not buy the stuff from Amazon or any similar site and all of mine is Amsteel. A case of you get what you paid for. Like a winch, cable or rope has to work each and every time I need it in the "woods" or it is worthless.

    The greatest short coming of synthetic is you need to have a spool cover, both to limit UV exposure and, more importantly if using it in winter, to keep it dry. It doesn't unspool well when frozen in a solid mass.
    Danefraz, dnb71R2, Norcal69 and 2 others like this.
  8. May 21, 2024

    OnlyOneDR Member 2023 Sponsor

    Mar 4, 2020
    Not a Warn winch, or frankly any winch I want to depend on. I cannot get behind these newer Badlands winches or even Smittybilt. My Warns never let me down.

    I never used cable; I bought a used 8274 with nearly new Amsteel Blue years ago as my first winch on my wheeling rig. I quickly realized how much easier it was to handle than steel cable when helping other folks with their extractions and dealing with cable. When I put a rear winch on the same truck I "went big" and bought the 3/8" Warn Spydura to go on the used M8000 I put under there. I have never regretted it. One time I did have the Amsteel snap near the thimble and I was quickly able to re-splice on the trail and keep winching (that splice endures, 13 years later). The Amsteel is starting to look weathered (vehicle is garaged and rarely outside) but still works great. The weight savings is a nice bonus especially when there are two winches on the vehicle.

    I am putting a used M12000 on my 2500 Ram (found a Power Wagon cradle) and am taking a chance on X-Bull rope I found for a stellar deal on Amazon.
    Fireball likes this.
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