The one thing that you need to remember when using a steel cable is to not kink or bind it. It needs to be wound on to the drum with 500# of pressure and wound with one turn tight against the next. If you don't do that, you can get a cable pinched. That is always lots of fun trying to get it un pinched when you are pulling it out. Also, after each use, the cable needs to be rewound neatly and tight for the next use. If a cable gets wound so that it crosses a turn or two of cable underneath it can get a kink in it and will break there under heavy usage.I have zero winch experience (well there's the ex-wife but that's another story). My first winch will be cable. I'm going with the old technology first.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't remember seeing any tow trucks with synthetic lines on their trucks.
I use Amsteel and spend the majority of my off-road time on the rocks.well i also dont have any experience with a winch, but i wouldn't go with synthetic if u go rock crawlin a lot due to the abrasion, here in florida i dont have to worry about that so synthetic is that way to go, plus everything ^^^^they said..
Most winch ropes now come with a chafe protector as part of the package.The trick with synthetic in rocks is to slip a section of heater hose around it and let the hose contact the rocks.