There is a divide that exists between off road enthusiasts when it comes to using synthetic rope or steel wire.

Synthetic ropes have become an increasingly popular option amongst off-road enthusiasts and professional tow truck drivers. Though many still prefer the original steel, there are strong arguments supporting both for their different benefits. Knowing these benefits is advantageous when deciding which is best suited to your application.

There are some things to consider:

  • Strength
  • Weather Resistance
  • Weight
  • Ease of repair
  • Safety
  • Cost


Steel is the perfect type of line to use in highly abrasive terrains, such as in mud, rocks, and sand, as it is less prone to fraying and abrading. As well as being more affordable than synthetic rope. Unfortunately steel is also prone to kinks, making it harder to spool up on the drum properly and decreasing strength. It is important to also take care by protecting it from rust and moisture.


Synthetic rope is lighter than steel and considered safer due to it not storing as much energy which gives it less kick back, while also stronger and somewhat easier to repair than steel. However it is important to remember that direct sunlight can fray the fiber of the synthetic rope causing it to be brittle. While also holding moisture it is important to not let it freeze as this will also cause damage.

While may will argue that the one is better than the other, the bottom line is that you should use what is fit for your purpose. Not everybody is equal in the terrain they cover or the obstacles they need to cross.

While others are very lucky to not have to use their recovery system often, others have to and these all add up to the decision making.

With so many pro’s and con’s on both sides of the proverbial wire, what is your preference?