How to Spool a Winch Cable like a Pro (3 Steps) in 2024

Improper and wasteful spooling of the winches line harms the cable in the long run and reduces the efficiency of the winch drum. 

You will lose a lot of friction on your drum if the line is not firmly and evenly coiled around it. 

Because of the incorrect and inefficient spooling of the line, the winch’s pulling strength may be diminished, causing your recovery to fail or be delayed. 

This article will show you how to spool a winch cable. Let’s get started!

Spooling a Winch Cable

Spool a Winch

A winch, for example, is a fascinating feature about a hefty machine: it may be a susceptible instrument. 

The winch cable or rope is, in reality, the most crucial component of a winch that is subjected to the terrain’s roughness and the elements. 

If you want your off-road excursion to be productive and safe, you must maintain the winch line regularly. However, if you do not spool a winch cable correctly, the routinely maintained cable may cause you difficulty.

Even if you clean and wash the winch rope after each use and keep it covered, it still has a chance of becoming damaged beyond repair. 

You must understand how to spool a winch effectively and re-spool it on the winches drum after the retrieval to keep the pulley line full-proof. 

If the winch is made of synthetic rope or steel wire cable, unskilled spooling or re-spooling can indicate how long it will last and how well it will work.

Safety Tips

winch Safety Tips

When spooling winches, keep in mind that it must be securely and uniformly wrapped around the drum no matter what sort of winch line you use. 

However, you must not jeopardize your safety in the process. Yes, your safety and the safety of others around you come foremost.

When handling the winch line, you should wear safety gloves. Wear the same pair of protective gloves when the winch motor is turned on. 

Because of the abrasive nature of the operation, winch ropes kink and tear more quickly; thus, it’s best to keep your hand’s gloves.

The slight bends and frays in the wire cable might puncture your hand, while synthetic ropes are less harmful even when abrasion occurs, although they can still injure your sensitive hand palms.

A set of protective gloves is strongly suggested in this situation to ensure safety before rescue. 

Furthermore, a moving winch might pull your hands in while you’re concentrating on the winch line. In this case, a good pair of hand gloves might be the difference between an injured and a protected hand.

Now that the safety measure is in place, it’s time to land on the picture of the winch cable spooling. 

The procedure of spooling and re-spooling will be the same for both rope and cable winch lines. The wire should grip the winch drum equally and tightly over its whole span.

How to Spool a Winch Cable: 3 Steps process

Step 1: Spool Out the Winch Rope

Start by releasing the full winch line, and as the rope becomes uneven, you may be inclined to stop spooling it out. 

However, for best results, spool out the full winch line. If you’re a seasoned off-roader, you should have no trouble with this. If you are a beginner, simply follow the steps below.

You just reach for the clutch lever and release it. For a free spooling action, modern winches feature a small clutch on the drum edge. 

When you use a free spooling technique with a winch, it will travel in your chosen direction. The whole rope will spool out of the drum quickly if there is little or no resistance.

Step 2: Switch The Winch On

Before turning on the winch, remember not to stack the released line in front of it. 

It’s best to draw the rope away from the winch and in a straight line at all times. As a result, you may prevent coiling the winch and causing any trouble during spooling. Now it’s your time to switch on the winch. 

After that, connect the remote controller and remember to engage the clutch pedal to maintain the winch drum locked and stationary. You’re now ready to re-spool or plug in the cord.

Step 3: Re-spool the Winch Line

It’s now time to draw the entire winch rope back. It is preferable to hire an assistant because this is the most crucial portion and may be challenging to manage alone. 

It takes a lot of strength to wield both the remote control and the winch rope. Make sure you’re carefully drawing back the rope so the cable can rest properly around the drum. 

Use your arms to direct the rope throughout to prevent overlapping it, but don’t forget to wear hand gloves. 

Make sure the wire is uniformly spaced and securely coiled along with the winch drum, allowing for greater friction and area on the drum.

Also check: How to Replace Winch Cable


So, did you like the article on how to spool a winch cable? 

We hope you did. 

So, if you’re still having trouble spooling and re-spooling a cable, you can get the entire image of how to spool a winch cable right here. 

And don’t forget to heed the precautions given at the start of this winch spool instruction.

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As an avid off-road enthusiast, I know firsthand the importance of having a reliable winch. That's why I created WinchAdvice – to help fellow off-roaders like myself make informed decisions when selecting their next winch. So whether you're an experienced pro or a beginner just starting out, my website offers valuable advice and guidance on all things winching.

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