Should I use a rubber winch stopper?

The answer is yes. Whether you are using a fairlead rollers or an aluminum hawse, you should be using a rubber stopper to protect it. When you pull your synthetic rope or steel line in, the metal thimble (metal piece around the end loop) or hook should never be pulled through the rollers/hawse. This will nick/scratch/damage your fairlead which will cause your rope to become frayed and eventually snap. Or if you are using a steel cable, your rollers may be damaged and not roll smoothly. For a purchase of $12-15, you can ensure you will never accidentally break your rope from pulling it in too far.

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