The use of rope for any purpose subjects it to varying levels and modes of tension, bending, friction, and mechanical damage, as well as a wide range of environmental variables such as temperature, and chemical exposure. Regardless of application, as fiber rope is exposed to particular service conditions, it will begin to suffer some level of degradation. Maximizing rope performance and safety involves selecting the correct rope, using optimal handling during its use, and retiring it from service before it creates a dangerous situation. Ropes are serious working tools, and when used properly, they will give consistent and reliable service.


Samson recommends splicing as the preferred rope termination method. Knots can significantly decrease a rope’s strength while, in most cases, splicing maintains 100% of the specified rope strength. Splice terminations are used in all our ropes to determine new and unused tensile strengths.

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Prior to use, application specifics should be reviewed to understand the method of installation needed to ensure proper rope performance. Depending on the intended use, installation considerations may include but are not limited to:

  • Establishing proper tension and length (i.e., static applications)
  • Connection mechanism (i.e., winch drum, spliced thimble)
  • Back tension required to ensure effective spooling (when utilizing product on a winch)

Rope performance will be influenced by the level of attention given to these factors during the installation process. It is highly recommended that the rope manufacturer be consulted if the user lacks experience handling and installing high performance synthetic ropes.


Samson recommends that every line be rotated (also called end-for-ending) on a periodic basis. This will vary high stress and wear points and extend useful life. The recommended end-for-ending period will be highly dependent upon the nature of service, frequency of use, ability to perform the end-for-end process, and other factors. Regardless of end-for-end timing, a visual inspection should also be performed during the rope reinstallation.


One frequently asked question is, “When should I retire my rope?” The most obvious answer is, “Before it breaks.” But without a thorough understanding of how to inspect it and knowing the load history, you are left making an educated guess. Factors such as load history, bending radius, abrasion, chemical exposure, or some combination of those factors, make retirement decisions challenging.

Inspecting your rope should be a continuous process of observation before, during, and after each use.

In synthetic fiber ropes, the amount of strength loss due to abrasion and/or flexing is directly related to the amount of broken fiber in the rope’s cross section. After each use, look and feel along every inch of the rope length inspecting for cut strands, compression, pulled strands, melted or glazed fiber, discoloration, degradation, inconsistent diameter and abrasion. Glossy or glazed areas, inconsistencies in texture, and stiffness are indicators that the rope has been subjected to elevated temperatures, has embedded grit, or has been subjected to shock loading and possible loss of strength.

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