The Best Synthetic Winch Rope

If your winch line is broken, worn out, too short, or too old, perhaps it’s time you get a new synthetic winch rope.  Or maybe you’re using a steel cable, and you don’t want to risk it since it can put you in hospital if it snaps.

Whatever your reasons, synthetic winch ropes are convenient and safer to use than traditional cables. In this guide, we’ll be reviewing the best synthetic winch ropes on the market.

Buckle up your winch rope and let’s jump right in.

Our Best Synthetic Winch Ropes

  1.  AUXMART Synthetic Winch Rope (Our Top Pick) 
  2.  Ucreative 7700lbs Synthetic Winch Line Cable (Best Budget) 
  3.  Smittybilt 97710 XRC Universal Synthetic Winch Rope (Best High End)
  4.  FieryRed Synthetic Winch Rope
  5. BUNKER INDUST Synthetic Winch Rope

Benefits Of Synthetic Winch Rope

Lightweight

Most synthetic winch ropes are lightweight and easier to rewind onto a winch drum when compared to steel ropes.

Safe To Use

Whether you’re operating a truck winch or a gas-powered capstan winch, a synthetic rope is considered a safer option because if it snaps, it won’t cause serious injury.

It’s Strong

We have synthetic ropes that can pull over 15,000 pounds of weight. The best part is, a synthetic rope can easily stretch without storing energy that would cause it to easily break.

Waterproof And Rust-Resistant

A synthetic winch rope is usually waterproof and it doesn’t rust or corrode when exposed to water or moisture. Even more impressive, a synthetic winch rope can float on water.

Types Of Winch Ropes    

Steel Cable

Before the invention of synthetic rope, steel cable was popularly used in winches. It’s strong, durable, and tough due to its high molecular weight. 

However, as much as steel is one of the strongest metals in existence, it can be a safety hazard when used to pull a truck. This is because a steel cable stores energy when stretched out and if it snaps, it can cause grievous harm or life-threatening injuries. Not to mention, wire rope can easily cut your fingers if you don’t wear thick protective gloves.

However, it’s possible to absorb the energy by throwing a heavy blanket or a winch line dampener over a steel cable during a winching operation.

Despite its safety hazard, a lot of folks still prefer steel winch cable because it’s cheap and not affected by sunlight; and let’s be honest, because it’s old-school.

Synthetic Rope

Here is something interesting; synthetic fiber ropes were first used in parachute cords during World War II to make them as lightweight as possible. Throughout the years, synthetic ropes became a popular accessory for off-road truck winches; and for a good reason.

Besides the lightweight advantage, a synthetic rope doesn’t fly when it breaks and it can float on water. Not to mention, synthetic ropes won’t rust, corrode or kink.

Usually, all synthetic ropes are interwoven with 12 strands. However, the difference comes down to the strand construction.

What are the three different designs of synthetic ropes available?

Basic Strand

A basic strand is made of 12 fiber strands that are interwoven in an open design. It’s easy to identify this type of design because the interwoven strands look big on the outside.

The problem with basic strand construction is that sometimes dirt and sand can get stuck in between the fibers. In effect, that would reduce the breaking strength of the winch rope. However, most basic strand synthetic ropes are budget-friendly.

Pre-Stretched Strand

As the name suggests, a pre-stretched strand construction goes through a rigorous process where the strands are heated and extended before they’re interlaced. Unlike a basic strand design, the fibers on a pre-stretched strand are usually smaller or medium-sized.

Since pre-stretched strand ropes are denser, it’s difficult for the sand and dirt to get trapped in between the fibers. Also, it’s not unusual to come across pre-stretched synthetic ropes with higher breaking strength than steel cables and basic strand synthetic ropes.

Enveloped Strand

An enveloped strand is made with an outer layer that covers the interwoven fibers. At a closer look, you will notice the outer cover is made up of smaller strands than what you would see on a basic or pre-stretched strand. However, if you pull back the cover or shed the skin, you should see thicker or bigger interwoven strands that make up the core of the rope.

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Due to the protective cover, enveloped strand synthetic ropes are abrasion resistant with a high breaking strength. Not to forget, dirt and sand particles can’t compromise the quality of the synthetic rope.

There is just one thing though; enveloped synthetic ropes are usually sold at a higher price compared to basic and pre-stretched strand synthetic ropes.

The Bottom Line

There is no debate about it, synthetic ropes are hands down a better option than steel cables.

However, if you’re going to choose a synthetic rope, we think an enveloped strand design performs better than pre-stretched and basic strand designs.

How To Choose The Best Synthetic Winch Rope

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength, otherwise known as break strength, is basically how much weight a synthetic winch line can handle before it snaps. As a general rule, you should choose a synthetic rope with a tensile strength that is twice the pulling capacity of the truck winch.

That means, if your truck winch has a pulling capacity of 10,000 pounds, you should choose a synthetic winch rope with at least 20,000 pounds breaking strength. This is important because the last thing you want is for the rope to snap during a winching operation and cause serious injury or damage.

Rope Length

The ideal rope length depends on a few factors; your truck, your winch and how far is the nearest anchor point. Sometimes, you will probably need a longer winch line than you think you do just in case.

However, it’s a common misconception that a longer winch line is better. Why is that? Because a very long synthetic rope can overload your winch drum and possibly damage it. Also, if you have too much rope around the winch drum, the motor will overwork to rotate the drum and you will have less towing power.

So what to do about it? It’s simple, just find a synthetic rope that is at least 10 feet shorter than the rope that came with your truck winch. However, this rule doesn’t apply if you’re using a gas-powered winch since it uses a different pulling mechanism that doesn’t wrap all of the rope around the drum.

Then again, you can choose an extra-long synthetic rope if you just want a backup option when you find yourself stuck up in a place where the anchor object is too far away. Alternatively, you can pack a winch line extension to improve versatility.

Color

Believe it or not, the color of your synthetic rope could have a big impact on its performance. For instance, red and yellow synthetic winch lines tend to absorb ultraviolet light more than other colors.

On the other hand, a white-colored synthetic rope reflects ultraviolet light and offers better protection than brighter colors. However, carbon black is the best color choice against ultraviolet rays due to its low pigment loading.

Price

Even though the price shouldn’t be the first determinant factor when choosing the best synthetic winch rope, we’ve noticed that you can guess the quality of a rope by looking at the price tag.

Below $25

Most winch ropes in this price range are designed for off-road ATV functionality. Usually, the ropes are about 3/16-inch-thick with a breaking strength of less than 6,000 pounds.

Between $25 to $75

Most synthetic winch cables in this category have a tensile strength of 6,000 to 12,000 pounds; ideal for light-duty trucks and Jeeps.  

Between $75 to $125

At this price point, you will mostly get winch ropes that are at least 75 to 100 feet long with a breaking strength of 12,000 to 16,000 pounds. Also, synthetic winch ropes at this price range will come packed with rope kit accessories such as carrying cases, D-rings, protective sleeves, and snap hooks.

Over $125

Anything above $125 and you get some of the best premium synthetic ropes with a tensile strength of over 16,000 pounds. Alternatively, you could get enveloped strand-designed synthetic ropes that are abrasion-resistance.

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How To Maintain A Synthetic Rope

If you want your synthetic rope to last as long as possible, below are a few tips on how to maintain it:

1. Don’t clean your synthetic rope using a washing machine. Instead, pass it through a bucket with water and mild soap and squeeze the rope gently to remove dirt and grit. Don’t forget to thoroughly rinse it after you’re done.

2. To prevent rope decay, never store your winch line in a box or bag when it’s wet. If the synthetic rope is wet, make sure to air dry it before storing it.

3. Avoid passing the winch line on any sharp edges or irregular objects to reduce the chances of breakage. If the synthetic rope is exposed over sharp edges, you can cover it with a protective sleeve.

4. To prevent UV rays from compromising the quality of your synthetic rope, keep it away from direct sunlight.

5. Make sure there is a big enough opening on the winch fairlead to prevent the rope from getting bruised by the winch bracket.

Best Synthetic Winch Ropes Reviewed

1. AUXMART Synthetic Winch Rope

Type: Synthetic Rope

Strand Design: Pre-stretched

Tensile Strength: 20,500 lbs

Rope Length: 95 feet

Color: Black

This is a synthetic rope that is approximately 95 feet long, and it can hold up to 20,500 pounds of weight. What’s even more impressive is that the rope is made out of minute fibers that can outperform steel at the molecular level.

The 12 fiber strands interwoven to make the synthetic rope are pre-stretched; so that means, you don’t have to worry about sand or dirt getting trapped in between the fibers. Beyond that, it can float on water and withstand cold temperatures up to -20 degrees Celsius.

Despite all its impressive features, we think this synthetic rope is a little bit too long for some specific truck winches.

Pros 

  • It can float on water
  • High tensile strength
  • Lightweight
  • It doesn’t trap sand or dust
  • Rust and corrosion resistant
  • It’s safe to use
  • Suitable for ATV, SUV, UTV, trucks and boats
  • It doesn’t curl, kink or splinter
  • ​It comes with a warranty 

Cons

  • It’s too long for some truck winches

Buy The AUXMART Synthetic Winch Rope On Amazon


2. Ucreative 7700lbs Synthetic Winch Line Cable

Type: Synthetic Rope

Strand Design: Basic

Tensile Strength: 7700 lbs

Rope Length: 50 feet

Color: Orange, Blue, Gray

How about a budget-friendly 50 feet synthetic rope that can pull up to 7,700 pounds? The cool thing is, this would be perfect for most winches designed for UTVs and light-duty trucks.

But that’s not all; it’s waterproof and doesn’t get easily compromised by ultraviolet rays or chemicals. Heck! Even if it snaps, it won’t bounce off and cause severe injuries; something that you can’t say about steel cable.

Unfortunately, this synthetic winch line cable wouldn’t be a good fit if you drive one of those large trucks.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly
  • Safer to use than traditional steel cable
  • It comes with a sliding sleeve
  • UV and chemical resistant
  • Long lifespan 

Cons

  • Not suitable for large trucks

Buy The Ucreative 7700lbs Synthetic Winch Line Cable On Amazon


3. Smittybilt 97710 XRC Universal Synthetic Winch Rope

Type: Synthetic Rope

Strand Design: Pre stretched

Tensile Strength: 10,000 lbs

Rope Length: 94 feet

Color: Silver

This Smittybilt universal synthetic winch rope ticks all the boxes; lightweight design, UV and abrasive resistant material to a protective sleet, and a coated hook included in the package. Not to mention, it doesn’t store tension energy that would cause you serious injury if it snaps.

Thanks to its rope coating, you won’t have slippage problems on the winch drum. But the most attractive feature about this specific synthetic winch rope is that it’s 94 feet long, 3/8 inches thick and it can pull 10,000 pounds of weight. That means, if you have a 5,000 lbs truck winch, this would be perfect.

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There is just one issue though; it’s a damn expensive winch rope! Then again, Smittybilt, the brand behind it, is a reputable manufacturer that has been in the winch-making business for over half a century; so you can be assured of high quality.

Pros

  • Protective sleet
  • UV and abrasive resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Minimal stretch
  • Includes coated hook
  • Includes stainless steel thimble 

Cons

  • It’s expensive

Buy The Smittybilt 97710 XRC Universal Synthetic Winch Rope On Amazon


4. FieryRed Synthetic Winch Rope

Type: Synthetic Rope

Strand Design: Pre-stretched

Tensile Strength: 23809 lbs, 25,000 lbs

Rope Length: 85 feet

Color: Black

If you have a truck winch with a loading capacity of 9,000 to 14,500 pounds, this FieryRed Synthetic Winch Rope could be just what you’re looking for; remember you need a winch rope with at least twice the breaking strength of your truck winch pulling capacity.

Anyway, you can choose between 23,809 or 25,000 pounds tensile strength, and both have a measurement of 85 feet long. Whichever your preference, you will get a winch line that is easy to repair and won’t recoil if it snaps. Also, the synthetic line is UV and chemical resistant.

On the flip side, this synthetic line is too long for small or medium-sized winch drums. However, you can still carry it in your trunk just in case you get stuck in a place and the nearest anchor point is too far away.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Protective sleeve
  • Easy to repair
  • High density dyneema strands
  • UV and chemical resistant
  • No recoil during breakage
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • It doesn’t fit some winch drums

Buy The FieryRed Synthetic Winch Rope On Amazon


5. BUNKER INDUST Synthetic Winch Rope

Type: Synthetic Rope

Strand Design: Enveloped

Tensile Strength: 26,000 lbs

Rope Length: 85 feet

Color: Black

For what it’s worth, this synthetic winch rope comes with an enveloped strand design to protect the inner fibers against abrasion, dirt, and sand particles. On top of that, it also includes an extra removable rock guard and a meter guard to prevent fraying and overheating.

Thanks to its 26,000 pounds rated tensile strength, it has the highest tensile strength on our guide. Did I mention, it floats on water and you can still use it during winter down to -20 degrees Celsius?

It’s almost perfect, except that it doesn’t come with a hook. Also, the sleeve can wear off after extensive use.

Pros

  • Ideal for winter
  • Waterproof
  • High tensile strength
  • Excellent durability
  • Suitable for heavy duty offroading trucks
  • Lightweight
  • Safer than steel cable

Cons

  • No hook in the package

Buy The BUNKER INDUST Synthetic Winch Rope On Amazon


Common Q&A

Q. How long does a synthetic rope last?

A. It depends on how you maintain it. However, it’s not unusual for a good quality synthetic rope to last for 10 years before you need to replace it.

Q. What material is a synthetic rope made out of?

A. Most synthetic ropes are made out of nylon, polyethylene, and other types of synthetic materials. However, some manufacturers mix different materials to produce a single synthetic rope.

Q. Can you use a roller fairlead with a synthetic rope?

A. Most conventional roller fairleads made out of steel are not suitable for synthetic ropes, because they would cause abrasion.  For that reason, most synthetic rope manufacturers recommend aluminum hawse fairlead.

Q. How do I install a winch rope?

A. It’s simple, and it should take a few minutes. First things first, you should pull out any old rope or cable off the winch and discard it. Next, you should secure the new rope’s eyelet to the winch drum’s locking mechanism. Finally, you can proceed and spool the synthetic line around the winch drum.

Conclusion

If we had to choose, we would pick the AUXMART Synthetic Winch Rope.This is because it’s lightweight, durable, waterproof and it can work with most truck winches. Also, it comes with a protective sleeve to prevent abrasion.        

Otherwise, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Ucreative 7700lbs Synthetic Winch Line Cable is a good alternative.