Synthetic Winch Rope

Selecting Winch Rope: Synthetic winch rope versus Wire
Time was when the only decision you had to make about the winch cable on your drum was the length and diameter of the cable. But times and technology have changed and the latest improvement in winching technology is the use of synthetic winch rope. This alternative to traditional winch cable entered the off road market in the 1990's and synthetic winch rope has been gaining in popularity ever since. Amsteel Blue is the most widely used synthetic rope available today and despite the name, it comes in red and yellow as well as blue. Let's look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic rope.


New Armortek Synthetic Winch Rope 3/8" x 85ft Warn Smittybilt Replacement
New Armortek Synthetic Winch Rope 3/8 $99.99

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Warn 72128 Synthetic Winch Rope 3/16" Diameter 50 ft. Length Kit
Warn 72128 Synthetic Winch Rope 3/16 $95.97

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Mile Marker Synthetic Winch Rope - 19-52316-50
Mile Marker Synthetic Winch Rope - 19-52316-50 $99.99

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Smittybilt Synthetic XRC Winch Rope 4x4 4,000 part # 97704 19/64" x 30ft
Smittybilt Synthetic XRC Winch Rope 4x4 4,000 part # 97704   19/64 $99.99

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Warn Winch Replacement Synthetic Rope Kit 1.5 [70758] 37-4055 61-70758 W70758
Warn Winch Replacement Synthetic Rope Kit 1.5 [70758] 37-4055 61-70758 W70758 $98.95

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Rugged Ridge 15102.31 Winch Rope Synthetic 1/4" 50 ft. 1510231
Rugged Ridge 15102.31 Winch Rope Synthetic 1/4 $98.05

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Warn 72128 Synthetic Rope Replacement Kit
Warn 72128 Synthetic Rope Replacement Kit $96.79

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Rugged Ridge 15102.31 Winch Rope Synthetic 1/4" 50 ft.
Rugged Ridge 15102.31 Winch Rope Synthetic 1/4 $96.27

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Rugged Ridge 15102.31 Synthetic Winch Line 1/4-inch X 50 feet
Rugged Ridge 15102.31 Synthetic Winch Line 1/4-inch X 50 feet $85.99

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Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231 $85.99

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Factor 55 Hawse Winch Fairlead 1.5" Thick Gun Metal Gray Synthetic Ropes Only
Factor 55 Hawse Winch Fairlead 1.5 $95.00

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New Armortek Synthetic Winch Rope 3/8" x 45ft Warn Smittybilt Replacement
New Armortek Synthetic Winch Rope 3/8 $69.99

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15102.31 RUGGED RIDGE Synthetic Winch Line, 1/4-inch X 50 feet, by Rugged Ridge
15102.31 RUGGED RIDGE Synthetic Winch Line, 1/4-inch X 50 feet, by Rugged Ridge $85.99

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Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Rope 15102.31
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Rope  15102.31 $85.99

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Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Rope 15102.31
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Rope  15102.31 $85.99

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New Runva Synthetic Winch Rope 1/4" X 50ft Rated 5500lb W/ 4-7/8" Aluminum Hawse
New Runva Synthetic Winch Rope 1/4 $65.00

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50 ft AmSteel®-Blue Synthetic ATV/UTV Winch Cable/Rope- BLACK
50 ft AmSteel®-Blue Synthetic ATV/UTV Winch Cable/Rope- BLACK $79.90

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15102.31 Rugged Ridge ATV UTV Synthetic Winch Rope 1/4"x 50' Genuine Dyneema
15102.31 Rugged Ridge ATV UTV Synthetic Winch Rope 1/4 $77.39

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50 ft AmSteel-Blue Synthetic ATV/UTV Winch Cable/Rope- BLACK, New
50 ft AmSteel-Blue Synthetic ATV/UTV Winch Cable/Rope- BLACK, New $77.11

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RUGGED RIDGE Synthetic Winch Line 3/16-Inch X 50 Feet #15102.30
RUGGED RIDGE  Synthetic Winch Line  3/16-Inch X 50 Feet #15102.30 $76.98

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Selecting Winch Rope: The Upside and Downside of Synthetic Winch Rope
Most lower priced winches available today -- and even some of the higher priced ones -- use planetary gear drives and their braking systems will heat up synthetic winch rope a lot in certain applications. If your winch has a spur or worm gear drive you won't have to worry about this. If you have a planetary gear drive, carefully read and follow the manufacturers instructions regarding length of synthetic winch rope to spool out and cooling periods for certain winching applications.

The final downside of synthetic rope is that it can fray when stretched under tension over sharp edged objects like rocks. Some synthetic winch ropes on the market include a 10 foot nylon abrasion guard that can be moved along the rope and placed on top of rocks and other sharp objects.

The upsides of synthetic rope are many. First, it's actually stronger than wire winch cable. It's also lighter and easier to respool. It won't rust and it even floats! And most importantly, since synthetic rope doesn't store energy, if it does break during winching it doesn't recoil and snap around like steel winch cable. It simply falls to the ground. If you have a winch with wire cable, you might want to seriously consider replacing it with synthetic winch rope. Once you've used it, you'll be glad you did.