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Thread: Synthetic vs. Steel Winch Line

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    Synthetic vs. Steel Winch Line

    I am looking to get a new winch, probably with a pulling capacity of at least 10,000lbs. Does anyone have any suggestions on which winch to use and run either synthetic or steel cable? I live in Southwest Florida if that helps. I thought that climate might effect both. Also, why you would choose either one would be helpful. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Nothing but a Thing highoctane's Avatar
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    I've always used steel cables, but I'm going to try a Viking 3/8 x 100ft syn line next.
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  3. #3
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkuntz View Post
    I am looking to get a new winch, probably with a pulling capacity of at least 10,000lbs. Does anyone have any suggestions on which winch to use and run either synthetic or steel cable? I live in Southwest Florida if that helps. I thought that climate might effect both. Also, why you would choose either one would be helpful. Thanks.
    warn now offers a line of winches that come with synth line. i've run other winches in the past but only run warn now as they have always proven themselves to be reliable and durable. and, in the one instance that i did have some issues with an early model powerplant, they were quick to take care of me by sending out a new $300 part that i knew i broke and told them as much and they did all this even before they knew who i was.

    regarding winch line, masterpull makes a nice line and so does viking. i run the later on both my jeeps now and with a safety thimble. synth won't rust, won't hurt anyone if it breaks, floats and are nice on the hands. i highly recommend paying the extra money for one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wayoflife View Post
    warn now offers a line of winches that come with synth line. i've run other winches in the past but only run warn now as they have always proven themselves to be reliable and durable. and, in the one instance that i did have some issues with an early model powerplant, they were quick to take care of me by sending out a new $300 part that i knew i broke and told them as much and they did all this even before they knew who i was.

    regarding winch line, masterpull makes a nice line and so does viking. i run the later on both my jeeps now and with a safety thimble. synth won't rust, won't hurt anyone if it breaks, floats and are nice on the hands. i highly recommend paying the extra money for one.
    I was trying to stay on the cheaper side, around $600 or less. However, would you suggest just saving a bit for a genuine Warn winch? I would love to run the Warn PowerPlant. Also, what do you know about Spydura Synthetic Winch Line? I have heard great things about Viking. Thanks for the feedback, it is really appreciated.

  5. #5
    Hooked nacho's Avatar
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    I have had warn in the past and always very happy. I currently have a smittybuilt h20 10k lbs. so far very happy with it. Time will tell on longevity.
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  6. #6
    Old Timer JKRay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkuntz
    However, would you suggest just saving a bit for a genuine Warn winch?
    Its always better to save and get a better recommended brand than to buy a cheap one just to have it now, then it break and end up spending more in the long run.
    Last edited by JKRay; 02-07-2012 at 04:42 PM.

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    How can you beat no gloves and throwing line out and not busting windshields or taking heads off. Plus it takes weight off your jeep. I luv my synthetic line and I ran the cable for several years.

  8. #8
    Been Around the Block Indefatigable's Avatar
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    It all depends on what you need out of it and the conditions you are in.

    Primary complaints about steel all boil down to operator and maintenance. so YMMV

    I am in the NW and its wet, muddy, wood and rocks. Its hard on cable. Especially synthetic. Dragging it through the junk.

    I have dozens of winches in my club and we run a variety of steel and synthetic. 3/8 of either lasts much longer than 5/16 of same. Wearing gloves is required for both. The crap that synth can pick up can hurt just as much as a steel sliver.

    Synthetic is safer at failure than steel, only because it has less mass. I have seen it break under load, yes it springs back. But less mass means less impact. Never seen one fail where it tore something off thus making it a projectile, but figure it ain't good.

    We go through alot more synthetic than steel. With regular maintenance we are able to see the bad spots in steel much easier than synthetic and we replace. But the synth wears out much faster. Yes you can splice synth back together, but can be a PITA for those without the tools or abilities.

    Know yourself. Know your maintenance habits. Know your and your friends usage habits.
    Decide from there.

    I keep thinking about going synth, but my steel cable has been good to me. Had it 7 or 8 years now and its still in great shape.

    Weight? LMAO. My LJ weighs in at ~5500lbs loaded when I head out on a camping trip. 8274, armour and safari fuel tank. A few lbs extra of weight is really not noticable!

  9. #9
    Knows a Thing or Two SilverBack's Avatar
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    Do you use Steel or Synthetic Winch line and why? Pros and Cons for each, please.

    I am wondering why everyone chose the type of winch line they use and the Pros and Cons they have come across personally. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Nothing but a Thing ERAUGrad04's Avatar
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    I'm running synthetic. I think there are pros and cons to each, however, the safety aspect of synthetic heavily weighed on my decision. Knowing that a broken winch cable isn't going to take someone out at the knees or come through the windshield is a good feeling.
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