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 $95.29

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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 $44.67

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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 $33.50

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Smittybilt XRC Synthetic 4,000 lb 35 Foot Winch Rope Kit w/ Hook
Smittybilt XRC Synthetic 4,000 lb 35 Foot Winch Rope Kit w/ Hook $99.99

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Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231 $90.29

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

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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 $99.97

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X-BULL12V 3000LB Electric Winch Kit ATV Synthetic Rope Wireless Remote Control
X-BULL12V 3000LB Electric Winch Kit ATV Synthetic Rope Wireless Remote Control $99.00

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X-BULL 3000LBS Electric Winch Synthetic Rope Wireless Remote Control 12V
X-BULL 3000LBS Electric Winch Synthetic Rope Wireless Remote Control 12V $99.00

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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 $95.99

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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 $95.99

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Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231 $95.99

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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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Jeep Wrangler 07-16 Hawse Fairlead For Synthetic Winch Rope Standard 11.8" Mount
Jeep Wrangler 07-16 Hawse Fairlead For Synthetic Winch Rope Standard 11.8 $93.89

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1400LBS/630Kg Hand Gear Winch 2-Ways Synthetic Strap Manual Car Boat Trailer
1400LBS/630Kg Hand Gear Winch 2-Ways Synthetic Strap Manual Car Boat Trailer $24.56

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1000LBS/450Kg 2-Ways Synthetic Strap Hand Winch Manual Car Boat Trailer-45199
1000LBS/450Kg 2-Ways Synthetic Strap Hand Winch Manual Car Boat Trailer-45199 $24.56

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New Armortek Synthetic Winch Rope 3/8" x 45ft Warn Smittybilt Replacement
New Armortek Synthetic Winch Rope 3/8 $66.89

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Fit Jeep Wrangler 07-16 Hawse Fairlead For Synthetic Winch Standard 11.8" Mount
Fit Jeep Wrangler 07-16 Hawse Fairlead For Synthetic Winch Standard 11.8 $83.99

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Hawse Fairlead For Synthetic Winch Fit Jeep Wrangler 2007-2016 Silver Aluminum
Hawse Fairlead For Synthetic Winch Fit Jeep Wrangler 2007-2016 Silver Aluminum $83.50

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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.