How to Replace Cable for Internal Halyard Winch Flagpoles

All flagpoles require some maintenance. If you have an internal halyard flagpole with a stainless steel cable winch system, this maintenance guide will show you how to replace the cable assembly and what to look out for.


If you have a flagpole with an internal winch device, your flagpole uses cable instead of halyard (rope). Replacing internal halyard flagpole rigging is a bit more complicated than external halyard ropes. This tutorial is for flagpoles with cable still working but needing replaced. Replacing flagpole cable on a pole where the cable has broken is another tutorial.

How Do You Know the Cable Needs Replaced?

Internal Cable Illustration for Flagpoles

Study the cable above the top snap hook where the cable rests on the pulley. If it is showing signs of fray, look over the rest of the cable. If there are a lot of burrs and broken fragments, we would suggest changing the cable out for a new assembly. If the line looks fairly good, except for the area above the snap hook, you can cut the cable back 2" about the frayed area, re-crimp and avoid replacing the cable.


  1. Lower the flag and cut the cable to be replaced above the upper Snap Hook.
  2. Remove the tape from the bottom end of the replacement cable.
  3. Splice the bottom end of the replacement cable to the cut end of the cable to be replaced. The splice should be strong and its diameter should be equal to or smaller than the cable diameter. A splice we recommend involves tying five wires from the center strand of the old and replacement cable together. This can be done by peeling back and cutting the six outer strands about four inches from the end of the old and replacement cable. Unravel five wires from the exposed center strand of the old and replacement cable and tie them together. Cut unused frayed cable and tape the entire splice including the cut outer strands. The result should be a strong but small splice. Test splice before proceeding.
  4. Gently pull the old cable through the winch access door until the replacement cable, splice, and new stop sleeve appears. Continue pulling splice and replacement cable out of the access door until there is sufficient length of the replacement cable to secure to a heavy or stationary object. Secure the splice end of the replacement cable.
  5. Gently pull the old cable through the winch access door until the replacement cable, splice, and new stop sleeve appears. Continue pulling splice and replacement cable out of the access door until there is sufficient length of the replacement cable to secure to a heavy or stationary object. Secure the splice end of the replacement cable.
  6. Cut the replacement cable just above the stop sleeve (leaving at least 1/8” of cable exposed beyond the stop sleeve). Remove the old cable from the winch and secure the new cable to the winch by placing the stop sleeve into the slot on the winch drum and tightening the screw against it securely.
  7. You are now ready to add the rigging for the flag back on the cable. Use the pliers to make sure everything is tightened down.