I started last season with some cheap tie-downs that were a step up from rope, but that's about it. For short runs to the lake I was okay with this setup, but when I decided to take a late summer trip south I knew I needed something more dependable to keep the pontoon on the trailer.
Back in July the Steadymate tie-downs that have been used in Canada for over five years became available in the U.S. so I decided to look into them. You probably couldn't go wrong with the Transom Trappers I, II or III, but still I couldn't decide. All are capable of securing a safe transport, but I was curious about the difference.
All three sets include two tie-downs per package, so the suggested retail price includes the pair. Basically the Transom Trapper I at $24.70 would be ideal for smaller fishing boats, while the Transom Trapper II would be better for larger boats. The second version retails for $29.95 so for a little more than $5 I'd go with the bigger one for those trying to decide between the two.
But for me I wanted to go big so I went with the premium version, the Transom Trapper III. I love the wide handle ratchet and the two-inch twisted trailer snap hook on this strap. For fun I took a photo of it compared to what I was using, just to show the difference in quality. It retails for $56.99, which may seem a little steep, but this beefy setup will give you peace of mind, plus you know it's going to last a long time.
It may seem like overkill, but the Transom Trapper III is what I would recommend. In my world bigger is better, right? However, if the price scares you a little, I'm confident the Transom Trapper II would work just fine too.
-Brady L. Kay, PDB Editor