Affordable strong synthetic winch ropes

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EddieV

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I have steel cable on my winch. It's old and starting to fray in one section. Looking to buy synthetic winch rope but don't want to spend more than I did on the winch. Anyone know a good quality 3/8 100ft or less syn winch rope for under 200?
 

VCeXpedition

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Make sure your winch can use synthetic rope. Some specify that they are made for steel cable, something about the drum and the brake, getting hot and creating problems with the synthetic line.
Just ran onto that doing a little of this research myself.
 
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EddieV

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Tuff Stuff , I've had a 3/4" 100" on my winch since I got it... it's seen a lot of use...
The tuff stuff has pretty good reviews, the last reviewer said his snapped, so it doesn't give me that warm and fuzzy feeling I was looking for.
 

EddieV

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Check out Southeast Overland. They roll their own kinetic ropes, synthetic winch lines, and other recovery gear. I've been there and watched them make ropes. They know what they're doing and they're quality people to deal with.
Thanks I will check them out
 

Graeman

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The winch is not different when choosing between cable or rope. They change the fairlead - roller to hause. Roller seems to pinch the rope and fray it. I have used both for the past 3 years on my car hauler. I really like rope better and I have only broke 1 rope and 1 cable. Cable binds, kinks and frays. Rope color fades & dry rots in the southwest is easier to repair quickly if it does break during a pull, does not come back and try to take your head off when it does break. The rope might look like it has melted when you get down to the 1st layer, but it is mostly the tightness of the wrap that gives it that look. One of the things that I have seen people do that is wrong and hard on both the cable & rope is use the winch as a tow strap ( pull out 25ft and then use their vehicle to pull the other person out) instead of letting the winch do the work.
 
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EddieV

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https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B06XXPZ63W/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1493771929&sr=8-5&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=winch+rope+1/2&dpPl=1&dpID=61TBoPQFJfL&ref=plSrch

I'm leaning towards this one, it has abrasion protection the entire length of the rope. My instincs says stay away because it's a new seller. He is also selling on Ebay, there is a cheaper version as well that is 3/8 for 120 or so.

I sent him my number on ebay and he called, they are from Canada but didn't seem like the offroad type, had limited knowledge on the product. Could have been the language barrier, sounded Indian or Middle Eastern.

I have been making offers to a guy on ebay selling take off's from warn winches, the spydura rope, no luck on the offers yet.
 

4xFar Adventures

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Don't let price be the driving factor when looking for synthetic rope. Make sure you know what type of winchline you are purchasing. A description that only says "Synthetic" isn't enough to make an informed decision. A 3/8" diameter rope will spool well onto the drum. If you get 1/2" you may not be able to have 100' because of the increased thickness.

What you want is Dyneema SK-75 or AmSteel Blue. SK-60 and regular AmSteel are weaker ropes. Other types of synthetic rope include Kevlar, Plasma, or Fireline and have a much higher melting point, but a smaller MBS (Minimum Breaking Strength) rating.

Winches can use either steel cable or synthetic rope. The issue with heat, mentioned earlier, applies to winches with an internal brake in the drum. When powering out under load for long periods of time, the drum rotates against the brake which uses friction pads. If sufficient cool down isn't allowed the drum can get hot enough to melt Dyneema, which is only ~150*C (300*F). This really only applies if you are lowering a vehicle over a ledge. If this is going to be a common use of the winch, you'd be better off with a spur gear like the Warn 8274, or a worm gear like the Husky from Superwinch. The high heat lines mentioned above have a melting point over 900*C (1650*F)!

If the drum has had a steel cable on it, you do want to be sure there are no burs, nicks, or anything else that will cut the synthetic rope. File or sand all of those spots flat and paint the drum with a high heat grill spray paint. It's tougher than regular rattle can paint, and the texture is a little more grippy. This helps the line from slipping on the drum a little more than a smooth finish gloss paint.
 

EddieV

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Thanks for all the information, I will definitely take it into account. I will inspect the drum for burs and stuff and I like your paint idea. I wasn't aware of all the different types of rope.

I wish all the sellers would advertise exactly what they are selling. And price sadly is almost always a driving factor, specially for something used so seldomly. I have had my 300 dollar no namer chinnese winch for 4 years and have only used it to pull myself up one time and I really could have taken anothee route. I am the type that takes the easy route as much as possible so I won't damage the rig. I have used my winch mostly for home projects, guiding trees in a certain direction, pulling my porch out, ripping out bushes ect... I have used it to help other people a few times.

I will give this one a try, if it doesn't fit then back it goes. Maybe the packaging will shed some light on what material is made from. I have been hearing a lot of good reviews on the tuff stuff ropes, some say it's SK-75.
 

w_m_photo

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You beat me to it on CustomSplice...
I have a back up rope I bring with me now that I got from Custom Splice... The one on the winch is going on 8 years old and is starting to look it's age... That would be the Tuff Stuff rope I got from Amazon a long time ago...
Many many pulls later, It's looking it's age.

Something to watch out for is dirt... And this is why an abrasion cover on the entire rope is a bad idea...
You will get dirt into the rope. Hell, even dirty water will leave dirt in the rope... So, you will want to clean it every so often with slow moving water... The idea is to get the dirt out before it causes abrasions in the rope.
Doesn't matter what brand you purchase. You will still want to make sure to do this. I would do it after each trip where you had to use it. Also the sun will break most synthetic ropes down over time... So, having it covered or not in direct sunlight will help It last longer.
As for it just snapping... Using any rope over it's WLL (Working Load Limit) you chance it snapping. The exact same thing goes with steel lines. However, with Steel lines the kinetic energy stored in the cable releases with the cable whipping and recoiling. This is a major danger with all steel lines. It is why you always put something on the line as a dampener... And even with a dampener it won't always stop the recoil.
With a braided synthetic line, that kinetic energy is released into the braid of the rope.
 
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Graeman

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After you make you r purchase be sure to always have a cover over the winch so that the rope doesn't have to be in the sun all the time or snow crap (salt, sand, granite) if you live in one of those areas.
 

w_m_photo

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Upping your budget $50 to be $250 is a small premium to pay for reliable gear. Even on custom splice, Amsteel Blue is $240 for a 3/8" x 100'.

You wheel conservatively, and maybe you would be ok with inexpensive line that has a lower rating. That maybe is too expensive for me, and so my outlook is to buy quality gear with higher ratings because it is cheaper than the repair to a damaged vehicle. Both are conservative outlooks, but each places value on different objectives.
After having my "cheap option" Tuff Stuff rope on my winch for almost 8 years... And, pulling a tone with it... I'm still happy I got what I got. The only reason I got the spare line from Custom Splice was a killer deal on it at the time... And, I figure eventually, I'll need it.
So, I would recommend getting the "Cheap stuff" specifically the Tuff Stuff rope... Then taking the money that you just saved and get a good snatch block...
 
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