Eye splicing a synthetic winch rope


Suddenly Enthusiastic
Super Moderator
We've touched on this topic before, but I thought it would be nice to have a thread dedicated to it with pictures and instructions.

I did this eye splice in 1/4" Samson Amsteel Blue rope. Most of the time we will be using thicker rope, but this particular rope is for a small ATV winch on my rear suspension. The instructions are identical regardless of the rope size.

I referred to these instructions on the Samson web site.

Before you start you should make sure the end of your rope is taped up tight to keep it from coming unbraided.

You may find it helpful to have a partner help you. Two sets of hands can be helpful in some steps. My helper proved to only be in the way.

First you need to make two marks on your rope. Draw a line at one fid length from the end, and another at two fid lengths from the end of the rope. A fid length is 21 times the diameter of the rope. I'm using 1/4" rope, so 21 x 1/4 = 5 1/4. So I made marks at 5 1/4 and 10 1/2 inches fromt he end of the rope.

Now take your thimble, and temporarily wrap your rope around it, lining up one end of the thimble with your 2nd mark. Where the rope comes out the other end of the thimble, draw a 3rd mark.

Set the thimble aside for now, we need to make the end of the rope smaller. Starting at your first line (and going towards the end of the rope), mark every other pair of strands, until you have marked three pairs.

Now cut each strand that you marked, and pull the cut ends out of the end of the rope.

The end of your rope should now have only six strands, instead of twelve. Remove the tape (since it will now be loose) and retape the end of the rope. At this point you should also tape something onto the end of the rope to help you push it through. I used a large cotter pin this time, and it worked great. I have used other things before, like coat hangers and pencils (I found the eraser end of a pencil works better than the pointy end). I really liked the way the cotter pin worked, and I think I'll use one again next time.

Now spread the strands of rope apart at your third mark, and insert the end of your rope.

You now have a very large loop in the end of your rope. Push the end of the rope up through the middle of the rope. You'll need to kind of "bunch up" the rope to loosen it up enough to push the other rope through the middle. As you bury more and more or the end of the rope, the loop will get smaller and smaller. Soon it will be small enough that you can insert your thimble in the loop. This is where it might be nice to have a second set of hands to hold the thimble in while you bury the end of the rope and tighten the loop around the thimble. Eventually you will have the loop very tight around the thimble. Pull the end of the rope out so you can pull it nice and tight around the thimble. Remove whatever object you taped to the end of the rope to guide it through, and pull the rope tight to re-bury the end. You may have to cut a little off the very end of the rope to get it all to re-bury itself. At this point your second and third marks should be at the ends of the thimble, and you have a completed eye splice, and hopefully it looks something like this.

Samson's instructions say you should put some "lock-stiches" into the splice to keep it locked in place. I've never seen anyone actually do this. I've also never seen a splice loosen up. As you add tension to the rope, it tightens around the splice just like Chinese handcuffs. It is a very strong splice, and you will break the rope long before the splice comes apart. But if you do decide to put in some lock-stitches, TAKE SOME PICS, and show us how you did it. :)

I Lean

Mbryson's hairdresser
Supporting Vendor
Nice tech! One thing you can add to increase the strength, is to pass the long end of the rope through the short end, before burying the short end inside. Not technically necessary, but it does help keep the thimble tight while you're working with the rest.
good write up!

-i think the same instructions are in this months or last months off road adventures mag from 4 wheel parts. once i saw it there, i gathered all the parts metioned and stuffed them and the mag into my Jeep winching bag.