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Steel Cable or Synthic Rope

View Poll Results: Steel Cable or Synthic Rope
Steel Cable 15 19.48%
Synthic Rope 62 80.52%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-16-2012, 09:48 PM   #1
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Steel Cable or Synthic Rope

I was just curious what everyone's opinion is on steel cable vs. synthic rope for their winch. What type of winch and cable you are using and why? Your post is worthless without a reason for your choice.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:57 PM   #2
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Kingone 9500lb with Dyneema synthetic. Saving a little weight on a heavy front end and rumor has it the synthetic may be safer when it breaks (dunno) but at least it floats.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:04 PM   #3
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so this is what i heard from some Rubicon guys and this is just opinions. steel is the way to go if you are winching a lot and is harder to break and a lot less expensive. synthetic is a ton safer when it breaks because it just falls to the ground because it doesn't hold much energy in the line. synthetic is terrible where there are rocks or anything abrasiveness on the line because they will brake when rubbing up against these so basically steel is a good way to go.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:08 AM   #4
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8274 with 150' of 3/8" amsteel - I have had both and stepped up to 3/8" from 5/16" - the 5/16" just isn't strong enough; cable is better for abrasion but the rope is way superior when/if it breaks and it can easily be tied back together or the ends repaired
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake5995 View Post
so this is what i heard from some Rubicon guys and this is just opinions. steel is the way to go if you are winching a lot and is harder to break and a lot less expensive. synthetic is a ton safer when it breaks because it just falls to the ground because it doesn't hold much energy in the line. synthetic is terrible where there are rocks or anything abrasiveness on the line because they will brake when rubbing up against these so basically steel is a good way to go.
You can kink, create burrs, and break strands going over rocks with a wire rope too. They can also develop permanent twists when used around corners under heavy load. With the proper tools, synthetic is far for terrible around rocks. You should be using abrasion guard either way to protect the rocks...
Synthetic line isn't perfect, but it can stand up to plenty of use and it's lighter and not prone to snap back.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:37 PM   #6
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The thing I'm conserned about is the ropes strength life. How many times or how long will it last until it breaks? You don't see rock climbers using the same rope for long periods of time. I know that a different rope for a different use but still. The rope has to be tested so often. With the cable, as long as you don't have any bad kinks or such, you can keep on pulling with it.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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Neck and neck... this should be interesting
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:11 PM   #8
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Synthetic rope all the way!!
For reasons already mentioned... It's just easier and safer to work with.

I work with a lot if cable at the factory. OSHA standards are very HIGH and daily inspections of cable are critical. There is a standard probably online but I'm outta time (at work).

I've seen cables break.... And it ain't pretty!
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:36 PM   #9
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I vote for synthetic for when I will buy a winch b/c of these reasons:

1) safer for the user and bystanders if/when it breaks
2) weight, less weight than cable and saving weight helps
3) easier to repair a rope cable than cable, if you can braid
4 won't kink and easier to unspool vs cable

I don't plan to offroad in the rocks so that was another point for my choice.

Also read this Four Wheeler mag. had a good article about Cable vs Rope in their December 2012 issue. Good mag. for info and wheeling tips and gear.

http://www.fourwheeler.com/techartic...ynthetic_rope/
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:03 PM   #10
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Synthetic all the way. Safer, lighter and easy to splice. I'm running a Warn M8k with 100' 3/8" Amsteel blue.

Here's an artcle from Bill Burke regarding his use of Amsteel and the durability he's found with it.

http://www.bb4wa.com/articles/amsteel2.html
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:38 AM   #11
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Thanks Tim for that great article. It had some great information and answered any and all quetions that I had. As a fireman, I've been to a few calls where a winch was all we needed. I've also stopped to help a stranded motorest and a winch could have helped out alot. I think a steel cable will be my best choice due to the fact of life and maintenance. Synthetic just needs a little more TLC and if I forget to wash the cable I know it want fail on me when I need it most. I don't do any trail riding mainly because there are no places I can go around here and plus I didn't buy my Taco for toy.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:16 PM   #12
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Just buy the steel. People used it for years before synthetic was ever around. You can always replace it later down the road with synthetic. In reality you probably aren't going to be using a winch an aweful lot. If you're concerned about safety, use somethign to dampen the energy if the cable does break one day.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:11 PM   #13
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One thing I've wondered about is how synthetic holds up to the elements. Tow straps that are exposed to moisture and the sun become brittle. I'm not saying this will happen to synthetic I've just been curious.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:27 PM   #14
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Synthetic is the only way to go. It is much safer. Just as strong. Quality synthetic will come with line protection covers that will protect it from the elements.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whahahajr View Post
One thing I've wondered about is how synthetic holds up to the elements. Tow straps that are exposed to moisture and the sun become brittle. I'm not saying this will happen to synthetic I've just been curious.
http://www.propickupmag.com/synthetic-winch-line-care/

We owned synthetic line for several years. That same line lasted the entire time and was still on the Jeep when we sold it.

You can buy a heat shield & rock guard to help protect it. It's a fabric sheath that goes over the line. The heat shield goes over the line that goes around the drum to help protect it against heat. The rock guard.... well, you put that on the line where the line would rub against rocks or other items.

Keeping the line properly spooled on the drum is essential. Each and every time you use the winch......you probably don't have the time to spool it up properly while out in the field. When you get home, you should un-spool it and re-spool it (under load) so the line is nicely wrapped around the drum and ready for next usage. My husband and I would re-spool it at home using our 96 tacoma as our 'load' (foot on brakes slightly).

You can also buy a winch cover..... to keep the elements & water off the line.

With synthetic winch line - NEVER use a roller fair lead. The line can get kinked in between the rollers & on the edges.

Always keep 2 full wraps of line around the drum at all times.

You guys worry about how synthetic rope lasts and/or withstands the weather & abuse..... Wire & Synthetic rope will both fail. The results of WIRE rope failure could land you in the hospital for some serious injuries. PERIOD. Don't take any chances with either.... REPLACE it if/when it reaches a 'questionable' condition.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:11 AM   #16
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That's why you put a towel or blanket on the cable everytime.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDNK TAZ View Post
That's why you put a towel or blanket on the cable everytime.
Just a towel or blanket? Are you serious?

Do you realize how much force is behind a cable when it snaps under load?

Whatever you lay on the cable, better have a lot more weight to it......Synthetic rope doesn't need anything. It drops when it breaks.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janster View Post
Just a towel or blanket? Are you serious?

Do you realize how much force is behind a cable when it snaps under load?

Whatever you lay on the cable, better have a lot more weight to it......Synthetic rope doesn't need anything. It drops when it breaks.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janster View Post
Just a towel or blanket? Are you serious?

Do you realize how much force is behind a cable when it snaps under load?

Whatever you lay on the cable, better have a lot more weight to it......Synthetic rope doesn't need anything. It drops when it breaks.
yea i have seen a synthetic snap (actually a few of them) and they just fall to the ground like you dropped it.
but when steel cables brake that is a different story. everyone will probably have to change there underwear cause those things will fuck up anything in there path including you.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake5995 View Post
yea i have seen a synthetic snap (actually a few of them) and they just fall to the ground like you dropped it.
but when steel cables brake that is a different story. everyone will probably have to change there underwear cause those things will fuck up anything in there path including you.
There are weighted bags you can buy specifically to lay on a cable.... but I can't remember what they're called (been out of the hobby too long). Offroad shops will have 'em (or should). Or you can make your own.... like a pair of sandbags to drape over the cable. I would think it would need to be 20lbs or more to be effective (just guessing).
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