There are so many advantages to switching from a cable winch line to a synthetic winch line; but have you ever thought about whether your winch has been designed for using a synthetic rope?

How can a winch be “designed for synthetic line use”?

Its simple, all you have to do is ask “What are the weaknesses of synthetic winch lines?”

After a little bit of research you will know its two forms of kryptonite are: Heat & Abrasion.

By choosing a winch designed for synthetic winch line we can prevent heat build up, and with careful planning and the use of rock protectors/sleeves while executing an extraction we can minimize the effects of abrasion.

Why we Choose the Superwinch Tiger Shark 9500 SR for our setup because it seemed to offer the best value (combination of price and features) backed up with great design principals that you can learn about below.

All winches use a winch drum to both spool in/out the winch line, but most also make the drum run double duty as an easy location for the winch brake; to hold everything in place while the winch is in a “static mode”.
One of the few things we remember from physics class, is that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted. In the case of brakes we are converting mechanical energy into (mostly) heat energy. So when a winch brake is located in the drum its easy to see that its easily plausible that heat energy can transfer to the rope.

What Superwinch has cleverly done in an effort to avoid this potentially dangerous situation is to relocate the brake from the drum to the motor, which I believe they are the first to do so! (ComeUp Winch now also does this).

They didn’t stop there, they also increased flange and tube thickness of the new drum to withstand the synthetic rope while diving between layers. (To be honest I never knew that this was an issue, but it can’t hurt to have that extra protection!)

One thing that did concern me about their setup was if I was really getting a Dyneema winch line or just a junkie “off brand” competitor. After a quick read of the their website you can see that they sate  “Only certified Dyneema is accepted by Superwinch, meeting strict strength guidelines”. Sounds good to us!

Preventing Abrasion

Like most winches that come with a synthetic line & replacement synthetic line, this package came with a “rock sleeve” to protect the line form it evil nemesis Dr. Sharp Rock &  his henchmen the Tree Root. But if your not pro active enough & too lazy to use the provided sleeve you are going to run into problem with any company you chose to go with.

Drawbacks of the Tiger Shark

To be honest we haven’t really experienced anything major that is worth reporting on. However it does not come with wire-less controller like some of their competitors do, but since I have never personally been exposed to this luxury, it doesn’t pop-up on my Con’s list….Yet.

Sure we could be nitpicky as say that the provided controller is big and bulky, but the truth of the matter is it does fit nicely in your hands and is comfy to hold.

The bottom line (pun intended) is this unit has fired up each and every time we have needed to use it, has never left us stranded and got us setup up with a lighter synthetic equipped winch at a very attractive price point (your front end will thank you). I would certainly recommend adding the Superwinch Tiger Shark to your list for consideration next time you are looking for a winch.

*Note* We never installed the hook that comes with the setup nor did we use the fairlead; we went straight to Factor 55 for their Flat Link E and their Fairlead.

Now that two years have gone by the only issue that has popped up is a small bit of corrosion that has bubbled up under the paint on the body of the winch, I had to look to find it & it’s not very big, it doesn’t effect the function of the winch, but if your winch is exposed with your set up this may be a factor to take into consideration.

Now log off and get out there,

Mike