How To Keep Winch Cable From Binding? – Detailed Guide

Winch cables binding is a common issue that winch owners may encounter, disrupting the smooth operation of this handy tool. Whether you’re pulling hefty loads or rescuing a stuck vehicle from mud, the last thing you want is a tangled cable hindering your progress. So, How To Keep Winch Cable From Binding and ensure a seamless experience? Delving into our research, we’ve gathered valuable insights to address this concern. In the following lines, we’ll share comprehensive tips and techniques to keep your winch cable from binding, ensuring optimal performance when you need it most. Stay tuned for practical solutions that will enhance your winching endeavors.

Our Bending Proof Winch Cable

Steps to follow Keep Winch Cable From Binding

Let’s jump right into the solution of your problem. Follow the steps below in order to keep the winch cable from binding:

Manual unspooling

Manually unspool the winch cable to the end. Do this by holding the free end of the cable using one hand and using the other to hold the cable near the fairlead. Use your body weight to pull down on the winch cable with full force.

Briefly press the out button present on the winch and keep pulling on the winch cable. This will result in the winch cable getting freed from the winch.

Unspool while driving

You have to do this step without opening up the winch. You have to attach the winch cable to a stationary object or tree. In order to create tension in the cable, you have to slowly back up the car while spooling out the winch at the same time. You will not be setting the winch for free spool.

Do not back up the car at a high speed because this may damage the gears inside the winch. The winch should not be pulled because it is the winch’s task to pull.

Winch with too much cable

Do not grease a winch if it has too much cable filled on one side. This may have happened if you used the winch for winching at an angle. This may make the whole process much harder for you. Use a lubricating oil with minimal corrosives or acids. Make sure you wipe away all excess oil.

This is important because oil attracts dirt which could lead to premature wearing out of the cable.

Free spool

Attach the winch cable to a tree or any other stationary object, set the winch cable for free spool and begin reversing your car. Your car should be parked directly in front of the stationary object. Make sure that the spool is spinning freely. If the spool is not doing so, this means that the issue is with the free spool knob and not the cable.

The cable’s free end should be connected at the ground level to a solid item. Use a strap if you feel that the winch cable’s free end is way too short. While the winch is in free spool, begin reversing the car slowly. This will begin putting strain on the cable.

Preventing a stuck winch cable

Follow the steps mentioned below in order to prevent your winch cable from getting bounded:

Cable is wrapped under load

When the winch drum is loaded, the winch cable should be neatly and properly coiled around it. Make sure that the cable is coiled tightly so that it does not move from its place and get bounded.

If the cable is loose and you apply tension, the cable might get stuck. This happens because the free ends of the cable slips down and the placement of the cable changes. Synthetic ropes require a smooth and tight wrap. It has a greater tendency of getting bounded.

Respool properly

After you are done using the winch, the winch cable might respool in a haphazard manner. Make sure to unspool and then respool after each use so that you can prevent the winch cable from binding the next time you use it.

This may seem like a simple step but it is extremely important if you want to prevent any issues in the future.

Spring-loaded roller fairlead

Most of the times when you are using your winch, you are in a little hurry and you don’t have the time to wrestle with a winch cable that is stuck. One thing that will help prevent this is a spring-loaded roller fairlead.

It ensures constant strain on the winch cable when it is being spooled back onto the drum. This ensures that the winch cable respools in a neat and tight way.

Kinked cable replacement

If your winch cable has a lot of inks and twists then you will find it rather hard to respool it. If your winch cable is old and you have to face kinks and twists very often, it is wise to invest in a new and smooth winch cable that will help save up on the time and effort of trying to remove kinks and twists from the cable.


We hope that by now we have covered all the important things about how to keep winch cable from binding. Let us repeat once again that you have to follow the steps mentioned above in proper order to keep your winch from binding. The most important thing to do is to unspool the cable manually as this will give you greater control over the cable. Let us know if you have any other queries.


Why do you need a winch cable stopper?

Answer: It is an accessory which makes the whole operation much safer for you.

Should I grease my winch cable?

Answer: Cables might go through wear and tear over time so it is a good practice to grease them.

How does a winch cable tensioner work?

Answer: This tool works using heavy duty coil springs which help maintain the tension on the winch cable.

What size is winch cable?

Answer: The size of a winch cable varies according its weight capacity.

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