How to Spool a Winch Cable? (A Complete Guide)

  • Post category:Guide & Tips
  • Post published:April 28, 2022
  • Post last modified:May 26, 2022
  • Post author:
  • Reading time:6 mins read

What is spooling a winch cable? A spooling winch is a winch with a spinning device that guides the cable’s spooling and keeps it nice and even without becoming trapped. The spooling device can help with the installation and removal of cable or rope from the winch drum, regardless of what the winch is used for.

Every time you utilize the winch for a different reason, spooling is required. However, if you don’t know how to do it, you could find yourself in danger. So often people ask questions about how to spool a winch cable properly. So, today we are going to discuss this matter easily. Try to read the article till the end. 

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Why do you need to spool a winch cable?

In actuality, spooling your winch wire is quite important since it ensures that your winch lasts as long as possible. Also, if you want to use the equipment, again and again, you must take adequate care of it.

If you don’t know how to spool a winch cable correctly, synthetic ropes are likely to jam. You’ll also find it far more difficult to use the ropes for any recovery. As a result, the cables may be harmed. You certainly don’t want your winch to become jammed or damaged. To avoid this, always retract the wires properly you need to spool a winch cable properly. 

Step by Step Guide to Spool a Winch Cable

Here are the steps about how to spool a winch cable properly. Try to maintain these properly and better keep a partner with you as a helping hand. But before that let’s discuss what safety kits you must need to complete this operation.

  • Pair of gloves: When working with the winch or other machines, it’s best to put on a pair of protective gloves. A winch is a very powerful tool, especially when the motor that it is attached to is running. So, don’t even consider approaching it without first preparing.
  • Synthetic Ropes should be used: When you utilize synthetic rope instead of steel wire cable, the risks of an accident are greatly reduced. However, there is a little complication in that irritation can occur. However, it is hoped that it will not cause anyone any harm.
  • Protective glasses: When you begin the “spooling” job, wear protective glasses such as goggles. It’s always a good idea to safeguard our eyes.

Set’s talk about the steps now:

Step 1: Turn off the motor

First and foremost, before you begin the spooling procedure, make sure the winch motor is turned off. Before you disengage, remember to remove the fair wire and the winch hook.  Though it isn’t required, it can certainly contribute to the convenience of your spooling experience.  Some new winches now come with a free spooling mode,” which allows you to spin the winch drum in any direction. On most modern winches, the clutch lever is usually located on the side of the winch drum. Turn on “free spooling mode” to spool out the cable once you’ve found it.

Step 2: Disconnect the Cable

After disengaging the motor, the first step in spooling the winch cable is to spool out the entire wire so that it may be spool evenly. In general, you should pull out the entire length of the cable, but you can stop spooling out when the rope isn’t uneven.

However, it’s recommended to spool out the full rope while learning how to spool properly.

You’ll notice a difference in your spooling tactics if you unspool with your hands rather than the motors. However, if you don’t want to use your hands to spool out, you can rely on the motors and engage in the “free spooling mode.” Hopefully, it will perform admirably.

Step 3: Assemble the Winch Line properly

After you’ve successfully stretched out the cable, make sure the winch wire is level. You can achieve this without any problems by pulling the rope in a straight line from the beginning of the operation. These requirements must be met to prevent the winch rope from being tangled in the process. You can gently spool the cable back to the winch drum once that condition is reached.

N.B. The cable should not be stacked in front of the winch. You won’t be able to avoid entanglements if you don’t.

Step 4: Now activate the Motor

The motor can then be turned on to begin spooling in. The cable must then be pulled into the winch drum using a remote-control device.  After you activate the clutch button, the winch drum will be locked. After that, you’re ready to spool the rope back to the winch.

Step 5: Activate the Cable Slowly

Finally, in this step, the actual work begins. However, you should get assistance from others before beginning to wind the cable. Otherwise, controlling the rope and the remote controller will be tough. As a result, it’s best not to do this step alone.

Better to get a partner. Start spooling the wire at a snail’s speed after that. Direct the winch cable using your hands, making sure it goes from one side of the winch drum to the other. However, for the best protection, make sure to wear protective gloves. 

Continue to the next layer by overlapping it after the wire has covered the entire width of the winch drum. Then, by wrapping the ropes, continue the process to complete all of the layers. If there is a gap in the layer or if the layer does not cover the entire width, never try to overlay it.

If this occurs, restart the process from the beginning. On the drum, finish each layer with a tight-fitting spooled cable. It’s important to preserve space while also increasing friction. For each layer to complete successfully from one side to the other, make sure to direct the ropes with your hands. You should also make it tight. And once you’re done with this process, you’re good to go!

You can also watch the video guidelines:

Also read: How To Use A Hand Winch? (Step by step)


Winch cable is very important for a safe journey. It tows truck drivers utilize winch cables to recover destroyed cars and vehicles. So, a driver must have proper knowledge about a winch cable, how to maintain and how to spool it. Hopefully, in the above discussion, we have cleared you and by maintaining these steps you’ll be able to spool the winch cable properly. That’s it once you complete the operation, you’re good to go!

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