How To Spool A Winch

Written by Tim Esterdahl | 1 Comment »

Proper winching techniques are important to know for the safety of the equipment and the person using the winch. Learning the right way to spool a winch will ensure you are ready for the next time you need it.

How To Spool A Winch

Using a proper spool technique is important for the long-term use of the winch and the safety of those who use it.

It is important to always start with a precisely loaded spool on a winch. Proper tightening and pulling is hindered if there is a layer of wire rope kinked up in places on the spool. This habit of letting the wire kink will damage the wire rope, eventually weaken it to the point it can snap.

The proper tools for spooling are:

  • Heavy rawhide Gloves or Winching Gloves
  • Energy absorbing Heavy Blanket or Coat
  • Nylon Anchor Strap
  • Clevis/D Shackle and Hook
  • An Anchor Point

Gentle tension on the wire rope is important because a slacken wire rope will twist back on itself. Better results will be seen by keeping a light tension on the rope during the spooling process. Look for an anchor point, and a clear path to the point. A natural anchor like a stump, a trees or a boulder is recommended.

If at all possible, when wrapping the nylon strap around the anchor point, double fold the strap for added strength. Thread the clevis/D shackle through both hook straps. Attach the shackle to the two ends of the strap and thread the hook loops, being careful not to over tighten the ends. Always back off a ½ turn.

  • Locate an Anchor Point
  • Hook the Cable Low as Possible
  • Use a Hand-over-Hand Technique
  • Set Hook inside the Clevis/D Shackle Upside Down

Place the energy absorbing object like a heavy blanket or jacket strategically on the wire rope between the vehicle and the base of the anchor point. This is to off-set injuries if the wire snaps under tension. Using the winch switch or remote control, slowly wind out all slack on the wire rope.

If the spooling process is being accomplished from inside the vehicle, the remote control should pass through the window to avoid being pinched by the door of the vehicle. When connecting the remote control make absolutely certain that the remote control cord cannot get tangled into the wire rope as the spooling process begins.

Important Warnings and Tips:

  • Retract the wire Rope Evenly around the Fairlead.
  • Make Sure All Clothing is Cleared
  • Double Check for a Clear Path: set point of the Fairlead at the front of the vehicle and the anchor point is cleared of limbs, rocks, exposed roots or holes.

Good luck and have fun!

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One Comment

  1. Jacob says:
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    great action, great bang for your buck. I bruoght this as my back up rod for my vacation, it quickly transitioned to my primary rod. You fancy fishermen out there may need more, but for someone casual this had great action and was pretty solid.

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