There is often a discussion of materials when it comes to winch line. In our opinion, it all comes down to personal preference. Around the 4WAAM offices, we tend to prefer synthetic line for it’s easier maintenance and safety factor in a failure scenario.
We were shooting other videos several months ago and one of them was how to repair a synthetic winch line if it breaks. While we haven’t published that piece yet, I did still have this video of us cutting the winch line. It really shows how tough the synthetic rope is and if you watch until the end you can see how the winch line reacts when it breaks under tension.
Everyone will still have an opinion about what is better and neither side is necessarily wrong. For your average winch user, the safety benefits of synthetic line and the reduction in maintenance are certainly attractive features.
A few other items that make synthetic our rope of choice:
It floats. Ever drop your winch line in water and try to find it?
You can get it in custom colors. Not just for styling, this is handy if you get a contrasting color to your terrain. Makes it easier to see your rope in recovery situations.
No metal splinters when doing maintenance. Most consumer winch lines do not require greasing, back in the military, however, it was commonplace to slap grease on some gloves and make sure the entire line was treated. Even though we don’t do this on consumer winches working with metal line definitely has a higher risk of injury from handling.
Regardless of what you ultimately use always follow proper winch techniques and be safe. Happy wheeling! Thanks to our friends at Off Road Consulting for participating in the video.