2. A winch usually has two modes of operation actuated by a lever (clutch lever). When a winch is in freespool mode, line can be pulled freely from the drum by hand. Use freespool mode when you're pulling out an extended amount of line so the winch won't overheat, and it conserves battery life. When the winch drum is locked in, gear lines (loads) can be pulled in or eased out with the remote.