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.


Blue Dyneema Winch Rope/Synthetic Cable 8mm x 30m w G70 Clevis Slip Hook w Latch
Blue Dyneema Winch Rope/Synthetic Cable 8mm x 30m w G70 Clevis Slip Hook w Latch $95.20

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3200LBS/1300Kg Hand Gear Winch 2-Ways Synthetic Strap Manual Car Boat Trailer
3200LBS/1300Kg Hand Gear Winch 2-Ways Synthetic Strap Manual Car Boat Trailer $44.62

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2500LBS/1136Kg Hand Gear Winch 2-Way Synthetic Strap Manual Car Boat Trailer
2500LBS/1136Kg Hand Gear Winch 2-Way Synthetic Strap Manual Car Boat Trailer $33.46

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Smittybilt Winch Cable Xrc Synthetic Rope 4,000 Lb. 19/64" X 30Ft 97704 All NEW
Smittybilt Winch Cable Xrc Synthetic Rope 4,000 Lb. 19/64 $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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Smittybilt 97704 XRC Synthetic Winch Rope
Smittybilt 97704 XRC Synthetic Winch Rope $99.99

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Smittybilt 97704 - 19/64"x30' XRC 4000 lbs Synthetic Winch Rope
Smittybilt 97704 - 19/64 $99.99

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Smittybilt 4,000 Pound XRC ATV Synthetic Winch Rope, 35 Foot Length 97704
Smittybilt 4,000 Pound XRC ATV Synthetic Winch Rope, 35 Foot Length  97704 $99.99

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Smittybilt 4,000 Pound XRC ATV Synthetic Winch Rope, 35 Foot Length 97704
Smittybilt 4,000 Pound XRC ATV Synthetic Winch Rope, 35 Foot Length  97704 $99.99

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Smittybilt Winch Cable Synthetic Rope 1/4 in. 40 ft. Smittybilt XRC 4.0 Each
Smittybilt Winch Cable Synthetic Rope 1/4 in. 40 ft. Smittybilt XRC 4.0 Each $99.99

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Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231 $89.99

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Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Rope 15102.31
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Rope  15102.31 $96.94

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Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Rope 15102.31
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Rope  15102.31 $96.94

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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 $89.99

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5/16inch*100ft Green Synthetic Winch Rope,ATV Winch Rope,Kevlar Winch Cable
 5/16inch*100ft Green Synthetic Winch Rope,ATV Winch Rope,Kevlar Winch Cable $96.00

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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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Factor 55 Aluminum Hawse Fairlead 1.5 (Synthetic Ropes Only) NEW
Factor 55 Aluminum Hawse Fairlead 1.5 (Synthetic Ropes Only) NEW $94.95

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POISON SPYDER ALUMINUM HAWSE FAIRLEAD FOR SYNTHETIC WINCH ROPE 45-45-010
POISON SPYDER ALUMINUM HAWSE FAIRLEAD FOR SYNTHETIC WINCH ROPE 45-45-010 $92.99

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Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231 $92.15

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ATV UTV Synthetic Winch Rope 1/4"x 50' Genuine Dyneema 15102.31 Rugged Ridge
ATV UTV Synthetic Winch Rope 1/4 $89.99

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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.