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Synthetic Winch Rope Info and Usage

Synthetic Winch Rope Info and Usage

What are the benefits of ASR synthetic winch lines over steel winchlines?

  • Very little to no whip back if rope breaks due to little kinetic energy
  • Our winch lines float
  • Very Light and Compact
  • No wire spurs, fish hooks or kinks to worry about
  • Easy to deploy in tough situations
  • Easy to repair in the Field

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What is Normal Wear and What Isn’t?

During normal, regular use, you will likely see wear on your winchline.  Some wear is acceptable, but excessive wear or outright damage can cause a loss in strength of your winchline, ultimately resulting in failure.  This set of guidelines is intended to help you determine when you need to consider removing a winchline from service, and what is acceptable to continue using.

Normal Wear

Normal wear consists of “light fuzzing” of the outer strands of rope.  Some discoloration is normal and acceptable.

Moderate to Excessive Wear

Moderate to excessive wear consists of heavy fuzzing, pulled strands, cut strands.  These conditions should be flagged during regular inspection of your winchline, and damaged sections should be removed and respliced, or the full winchline should be replaced. strands, stiff/melted sections, and localized bunching of strands.

Moderate or excessive wear reduces the working strength of your winchline; until the damage is repaired or the line is replaced, restrict the loads that are applied to the line. 

How Do I Repair A Damaged Synthetic Winchline?

Depending on the particular situation, synthetic winchlines can sometimes be repaired.  For specific questions about repairing your winchline, or performing any splices on your winchline, we suggest you contact ASR Offroad directly.

"Why Did My Winch Line Fail?" How To Avoid Asking This Question.


With proper care and usage, synthetic rope products, including winch lines should not fail during use, and will provide many years of successful, safe, and reliable performance. That said, there are several common errors in installation or use that can, and have in many instances caused unexpected failures. We will highlight some of those here to help you avoid them.

  • Incorrect Wrap Direction - Winchlines should generally feed off the bottom of the winch drum, and extend straight through the fairlead. Line feeding off the top of the winch drum may experience excessive wear or damage.
  • Unintentional Abrasion - Use care when winchlines may come into contact with trail obstacles that are sharp or abrasive; utilize abrasion protection when necessary, or reconfigure your setup.
  • Worn Rope - Winchlines will wear out with normal use. Regularly inspect your winchline for wear or damage, and replace as necessary
  • Shock Loading - Winchlines should never be used as a yank strap. Shock loading can damage the fibers of synthetic winchlines due to friction of the fibers moving quickly past each other. The friction creates heat which affects the strength of the fibers and the winchline assembly.
  • Incorrect Rigging - Do not connect the hook back over the winchline. Always use the appropriate tree saver straps, shackles, pulley blocks, etc. when setting up a winch pull.
  • Overloading - Know the Minimum Breaking Load (MBL) rating for your winchline and all other tools that carry loads. Consult a winch technique guide or class to learn how to estimate loads on the winchline depending on the vehicle and terrain conditions. See the Links section for more information

 Synthetic Winch Rope to Steel Cable Comparison

DiameterSynthetic WeightSteel WeightSynthetic Strength (MBL)Steel Strength (MBL)
5/16" 2.5 lbs/100' 17.3 lbs/100' 11,700 lbs 9,800 lbs
3/8" 3.7 lbs/100' 24.3 lbs/100' 17,500 lbs 14,400 lbs
7/16"     21,000 lbs 17,600 lbs

 

 

 

 

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