This invention provides a composite wire rope comprising a plurality of outer strands laid helically about a helically stranded core. The core is comprised of high strength synthetics, such as polyamide or polyolefin materials to form a unitized lay central member. The method for forming the rope comprises the steps of twisting high strength synthetic monofilament yarns into core elements to provide a high degree of stability and overall tensile strength. Each such element is helically laid in a single operation to form the finished core. Lubricant may be applied and subsequently a protective jacket of steel, natural or synthetic material may be provided to encapsulate the core and lubricant. The rope structure is completed by helically laying a plurality of outer strands about the core.