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How To Tension Your Winch Line

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Tensioning your winch line is crucial to prevent the line from mushing and damaging itself during use. Popo Patty shows us how it's done.
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Have you tensioned your winch? Tensioning your winch line (cable or synthetic) will ensure your line remains snag free and works well for its service life. Every winch needs to be tensioned after install and I recommend doing it again every so often to inspect the line as well as ensure its remaining spooled correctly on the drum.

  • Start by putting the winch into free spool mode and pulling the line out, ensuring you have five wraps for cable or ten wraps for synthetic on the drum.
  • Hook the line to a secure anchor point (like a tree or another vehicle), back up the winch vehicle to create tension, and spool the line slowly, six feet at a time.
  • Continuously check the line to ensure it is spooling correctly on the drum, applying light brake pressure to maintain tension without overexerting the line.
  • Finish by ensuring the line is tightly spooled, giving it some slack to disconnect, and winding it back in slowly while maintaining pressure to keep the line taut and properly tensioned.
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