How to Get a Winch to Spool Evenly

With the increase in popularity of off-road sports and rallies, the usage and popularity of winches has been through a rise. For muddy terrains, sand, or snow, a winch is a must have tool to have for every off-roader, because it proves to be extremely useful when you need to pull something or a vehicle out of sticky situations. Winches are manufactured by a variety of companies and come with a range of capacities and sizes to accommodate the needs of all users.

In order to get the best output and increased life of the winch, it is necessary to know how to use it properly. This rule goes with almost all kinds of mechanical devices and components which enables you to obtain the best value for your investment. In order to prevent any kind of entangling or overlapping, you need to spool out the winch cables properly, but the thing is that not all of us know how to execute this properly.

So in this article, we will be guiding you to perfectly execute the winching job and get your winch to spool evenly, to increase the number of life cycles of the winch and get it to spool evenly. Stay tuned!

Precautionary measures to take before proceeding

You must take care of the safety factors before operating a winch, because usually the winch cables are rugged and made of steel, which makes you prone to injuries while using them. You should never spool a winch bare handed as it can cause sore hands and cuts, so wearing a safety pair of gloves is a must and it gives you a firm grip.

While working with a winch rope, you should avoid spooling in and spooling out the rope too fast because it can damage it and make it likely to fracture soon. Do not give any extra tension to the rope and the selection of your winch line should be wisely made.

Try to stay focused and do not lose your concentration while doing the job, otherwise it would result in overlapping of cables. In such a case, you’ll have to go through the whole process again, therefore focus is very important. There are no other complications involved in spooling a winch evenly, and it does not require any extra skills, but these were a few factors you should take care of.

Steps to get a Winch spool evenly

First step in getting your winch spool evenly is to spool out the entire winch. This can be done using the remote control if your winch has one, or you may also use the toggle switch. After that, you have to disengage the clutch of the lever, which you will find beside the winch drum if you are using a modern style winch.

Modern winches allow you to free spool it in any direction, which enables pulling out the full winch from the winch drum without any kind of trouble. Next you will have to activate the winch by switching on the winch of your car. While using a remote-controlled winch, this task becomes very handy, as spooling out the whole winch becomes very time efficient and easy to do.

You’ll have to plug in the winch remote to control the lever actions, which will keep the winch drum locked while spooling out the winch rope for your safety. After this you will be performing the next important step which is to pull back the winch cable. In order to do so, you’ll need to make use of the remote and the winch both at the same time. In doing this task, you might need help from someone, so do not hesitate in asking someone to help, as this step is nearly impossible to do on your own.

While wearing a pair of safety gloves as mentioned before, you will then pull back the winch cable slowly. Start routing the winch cable to the winch drum, while making sure that there is no overlapping. Make sure to complete the first layer and then overlap the second layer on it. You should do this while keeping the entire winch on the ground in a straight line, so that the winch spools out evenly. Keep the winch in a slight tension while doing so.

Next you will take hold of the cable in your hands, and tell your assistant to pull out the cable slowly. While the cable spools in gradually, you will direct it to the right spot using your palms in order to avoid any kind of overlapping. After you are done doing so, make sure that the cable is tightly wound around the drum, because if they are loose, they will be likely to get tangled and overlap with each other.

Wires or ropes which are tightly coiled up make the winch space efficient and enhance the effect of friction. The winch will not come out quickly hence. Also make sure to recheck everything by the end, so that any issues can be identified beforehand.

Importance of taking care of your winch

Whenever going out for off-road trips, winch is one of the most important devices you should carry along with you, in order to stay free of troubles. It is also a very commonly used device in the industry which helps in lifting and transporting heavy loads. Winches usually cost a lot because they are a one-time investment, so it is necessary to use them and maintain them properly.

One of the factors in taking care and protecting your winch is evenly spooling the winch rope or cable. It could otherwise become damaged and lead to inefficiency in the long run. If the rope is not spooled tightly and evenly, you will lose some amount of friction which eventually effects your winch’s pulling capacity. The winch line is also one of the most sensitive and integral parts of a winch so taking care of it is necessary for overall maintenance of a winch.


That was all about getting your winch to spool evenly! Being an off-road enthusiast or a frequent adventurer, you must have the knowledge and be able to spool a winch evenly whenever you get to use one. The process is very simple and easy to execute as mentioned above.

So try it out today and if you face any issues or have any questions, feel free to reach us out at any time! Our team is always there to provide you with the best possible solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Should I grease my winch cable?

It is recommended to use a dedicated winch case lubricant that would protect your winch cable both inside and out. The inner core may get weakened due to corrosion and rust that’s why this is important.

  1. Can you install a winch upside down?

It does not really matter which way you install a winch as this does not have any effect on its load bearing capacity. You should however make sure that the winch cable does not hang down, which can be hazardous.

3. What is the minimum number of times the cable should be kept wrapped around the winch drum?

To prevent the cable coming off the drum, you should wrap the cable at least eight times around a drum.

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