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Thread: Synthetic vs. Steel Winch Line

  1. #21
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cozdude View Post
    LOL!! And here I was going to respond to this thread with some insight. These links are better

  2. #22
    Old Timer David1tontj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkur77 View Post
    I have heard horror stories of steel snapping and it recoiling back into the jeep. I heard the synthetic doesn't do that, so I went with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hot94Z8 View Post
    I want to switch mine out but I have been running rope on my ATV winch for a long time and it broke on me once it just fell strait down. From my own experience rope is safer.
    That's what I had always heard would happen with rope. I snapped my synthetic line and it shot 70' of rope straight into my hood. Just a pile of rope when I got out.

    I think the idea is that the rope doesn't carry much stored energy because it is so lightweight / doesn't have enough energy to do any damage, where a steel cable is heavy and carries a lot of force when It snaps- thus causing injuries and damage on anything it hits.

    I have run both steel and authentic, and I have snapped both. I currently run synthetic on my front and rear winch, and would not go back to steel. The weight savings, ease of use, and added safety, just make it a no brainer for me.

  3. #23
    Old Timer David1tontj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David1tontj View Post
    That's what I had always heard would happen with rope. I snapped my synthetic line and it shot 70' of rope straight into my hood. Just a pile of rope when I got out.

    I think the idea is that the rope doesn't carry much stored energy because it is so lightweight / doesn't have enough energy to do any damage, where a steel cable is heavy and carries a lot of force when It snaps- thus causing injuries and damage on anything it hits.

    I have run both steel and authentic, and I have snapped both. I currently run synthetic on my front and rear winch, and would not go back to steel. The weight savings, ease of use, and added safety, just make it a no brainer for me.
    I wanted to add- just because you are using synthetic line, does not mean you are safe in the event of a snap. Depending where something breaks, you might have a hook or snatch block flying through the air.

    Please use caution every time the winch comes out!

  4. #24
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David1tontj View Post
    I wanted to add- just because you are using synthetic line, does not mean you are safe in the event of a snap. Depending where something breaks, you might have a hook or snatch block flying through the air.
    Don't know if I'd agree. I too have been present when a synth line has broken on a very hard recovery and, when it snapped, the line immediately wadded up into a big ball of yarn and hit the Jeep with a light puff. The whole thing was really quite comical. Sure, there was "some" stored energy but no where near enough to carry a hook or snatch block or at least, with any real force. Of course it's still a good idea to practice good sense and stand clear of a Jeep being recovered but, a synth line is way safer.

    Please use caution every time the winch comes out!
    This I agree with 100%

  5. #25
    Old Timer Armydog's Avatar
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    I went with synthetic because it's cooler! As in it looks more cooler than steel. That is the truth.

    However the pros and cons are still valid as well. Lighter and safer to use and in the event of a break. Perhaps not as durable over the long haul but this may make it safer than steel yet again because of the tendency to use steel cable longer than its serviceability. How many have used a steel cable that was just a little linked or frayed in only one spot? It's still good right?

    I like that my synthetic line wasn't frozen solid the other day like my buddies Steel line was. I don't like that the synthetic line tends to birds nest into itself if you spool it neatly on the drum.

    Pros and cons go on forever. Whatever you use, do so safely and as designed. Inspect your equipment before and after EACH use. Don't use marginally serviceable equipment. Throw it out and replace it. The life you save could be your own!!

  6. #26
    Been Around the Block t8er's Avatar
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    Like most I chose synthetic for the safety factor. I don't know why but people always try to stand by the winch line so the can watch no matter how much you yell. I would say weight but with bumpers, winch, lights, gear etc I'm not sure it matters that much

  7. #27
    Old Timer David1tontj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayoflife View Post
    Don't know if I'd agree. I too have been present when a synth line has broken on a very hard recovery and, when it snapped, the line immediately wadded up into a big ball of yarn and hit the Jeep with a light puff. The whole thing was really quite comical. Sure, there was "some" stored energy but no where near enough to carry a hook or snatch block or at least, with any real force. Of course it's still a good idea to practice good sense and stand clear of a Jeep being recovered but, a synth line is way safer.



    This I agree with 100%
    I haven't seen a hook or snatch block fly with a snapped synthetic line, but I was thinking that if the tree protector, or something further out than the winch hook failed, that there might still be a projectile. It's only a THEORY of mine, as I haven't seen or heard it, but I just hate when people don't respect the amount of force that the winch is creating.
    I meant that just because you're running synthetic line, doesn't mean there isn't another component that could fail and cause harm.

    If I hadn't have been stuck to the frame in mud, wheeling alone, I would have appreciated the comedy when my synthetic line balled up in front of my rig. It still got me out, because another pro to synthentic, is that I was able to just tie a knot in the line and pulled myself out.

  8. #28
    Fresh Catch txwest's Avatar
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    Synthetic. Turns into a cloud and falls to the ground.
    Current:
    '12 GC Overland 4x4 HEMI ORII QL Towing Red/Saddle
    (Hidden Front Winch Install)

    Past Jeeps:
    '80 CJ-7 I6 4x4 Std
    '86 Comanchee I4 4x4 Std
    '99 WJ Laredo 4.0 4x4 AWD

  9. #29
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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned that if you have the knowledge, you can splice your broken synthetic line back together in the trail. You could also tie a knot in it as mentioned above, but a proper splice is able to hold the advertised breaking strength of your rope, making your broken winch line good as new. It also only take about 10 - 15 minutes.

  10. #30
    Been Around the Block Bustedback's Avatar
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    Another pro for synthetic rope is that it floats.

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