There are numerous reasons why a synthetic winch line is the current and common choice amongst wheelers whether it is the fact that the old cable is worn out, frayed and it’s time to replace it or an upgrade is in order. A kink in an old cable, cosmetic appeal, or fraying can be reason enough for one to change out the old cable for a new synthetic line, whatever the reason is… synthetic winch lines are the in thing and for good reason!
Synthetic lines are an improvement over the old steel cables for several reasons; they weigh less which may not seem like a big deal until it is time to pull the full length of the cable off the spool while running up a hill. Also the synthetic line is safer should it break, another one of the many reasons it gets replaced. Should a cable winch line break it can become a flying guillotine but if the synthetic breaks it is more apt to fall to the ground or at the very least, do less damage to those around it.
Well, a couple of the above reasons brought us to update the winch line on one of our Jeeps so follow along as we do the quick install. Basically it was just a matter of pulling off the old cable, removing one bolt and we were ready to install our synthetic line. Basically the reverse is about all it takes to put the new line on with a couple extra steps.
Depending on what type of winch you have the cable will connect via bolt on attachment or by threading the new line through a hole in the spool. If your winch doesn’t have the small bolt to attach the new line and instead has a through hole thread the end of the line through, pull an additional 6”-8” of rope and lay it across the drum and tape it down to hold it in place before spooling it up.
One important thing that does have to be swapped out when changing from a steel cable to a synthetic line is the fairlead; the cable style roller fairlead can grab the new line and tear or damage it so the Hawse style Fairlead is required when changing to the new synthetic line. That is typically a couple of bolts and a quick swap so it too is not an issue of difficulty when replacing.
If you have an old steel winch line that is starting to show it’s age we certainly recommend spending the extra dough and upgrading to a synthetic. We hope you won’t have to use your winch too often but when you do you’ll be glad that you made the swap and upgraded to the latest and greatest in winch line technology.
One thing you will want to confirm before choosing a synthetic over a cable is that winch you are running allows for the use of a synthetic winch line. Some do not, as always we recommend that you follow the advice and recommendations of the winch manufacturer first and foremost.