Product Review - Cabelas Spot Sprayer
Whether you’re tending a hunting food plot, a backyard garden, or a huge field, weed control is the key to a healthy crop. Kill the weeds, spread a little fertilizer, and with a rain shower now and then you have a good chance at a successful stand. The first step is to kill the weeds.
There are two ways to control weeds; work the field multiple times so they never establish themselves, or go for chemical annihilation. Both require the right tools for the job but killing the weeds with a properly applied herbicide like Round-Up will be the faster route to a weed free area. You will need a quality sprayer to apply the chemicals correctly however.
Cabela's To the Rescue
If you’ve never visited a Cabela’s store you owe it to yourself to make a pilgrimage to the mecca of sporting goods. It’s like a trip to a museum, a hunting and bait shop, and a gun store with a healthy dose of “It’s Christmas, my birthday, and I’m going to Disneyland all on the same day” thrown in. We love, love, love the place! Since ATVs and Side x Sides are as common as flannel and jackelopes at every hunting camp in the country Cabela’s carries plenty of accessories for them too. For our battle with the weeds a sprayer from Cabela’s looked to be just the thing for laying down some chemical justice. Important features include:
- 12-volt Santoprene pump
- 2.1 GPM (1.0 gpm pump on 15 gallon economy model)
- Pressure up to 60 psi
- 5” fill hole with screw-on lid
- Recessed inserts for bolting to ATV racks (not needed in bed of UTV)
- 15’ wand hose
- Adjustable tip
Even though the Cabela’s sprayer is called an ATV spot sprayer it’s perfectly happy in the bed of a Side x Side also. The sprayer is available in three sizes with a 15 gallon tank, a 25 gallon tank, and a 15 gallon economy model which features a slightly less powerful pump. We opted for the 25 gallon unit.
Instructions for installation are included with the kit but they leave a little to be desired. It’s pretty easy to figure everything out though and to power the pump there is a cord with two jumper cable style clamps to attach to your battery. On the Polaris Ranger the battery is under the front hood and we routed the cable to reach it yet remain out of the way. With everything hooked up it was time to try it out.
The first thing we would be spraying is fruit trees and after loading the tank with water and enough chemicals to ward off any bugs we headed for the orchard. It was simple enough to use the Cabela’s sprayer; flip the switch on to start the pump, grab the spray gun wand, and point it in the right direction. Once the sprayer is running you can adjust the output by twisting the end nozzle. You want a fine mist that covers evenly. It was easy to cover the young trees and the coiled hose allows some movement from the Ranger. As we used the sprayer though there are a few things that would make it even better.
Cabela's ATV Sprayer Wish List
With every product we test it’s our job to find out what it does well, and ways it could be better. We want you to know exactly what to expect before you ever hand over your cash. With the Cabela’s ATV sprayer we can think of several ways to make it more use friendly and the first thing we would do is to include a more accurate and better written set of instructions. The unit shows all the traits of a product that is likely imported but the instructions were an afterthought by somebody with little command of the language. We got through it and most owners will but it should be better.
The second area we would improve is the tank. It would be nice to have easier to read graduation marks to show how much liquid was left inside. We’ve seen tanks with a clear or opaque area by the graduation marks and they’re much easier to read. The pump pickup area could be improved as well. Currently the pump pickup cannot suck all the liquid out of the tank because of the flat bottom which wastes a lot of the spray. A recessed reservoir area for the pump pickup would do a much better job of removing all the liquid. For powering the pump the alligator clamps work sufficiently, but since practically every ATV and UTV comes with a 12v accessory outlet it would be much easier to use the plug style connector on this unit also. We also snapped the wand holder off the first time it was used, and the coiled hose seems like a good idea but we believe it’s actually plastic air line. It’s fairly rigid and wants to retract constantly making it annoying and hard to pinpoint the stream as the hose tugs at you. Do yourself a favor and pick up 20 feet of rubber sprayer hose from Tractor Supply to avoid the problem. While you’re at it grab a swivel fitting for where the hose enters the spray gun and new fittings for the other end as well. The current fittings for where the pump enters the tank, and between the pump and the hose are light duty plastic and are prone to cracking since they are unsupported. Heavy duty PVC schedule 40 or 80 will solve the problem.
Our experience with Cabela’s has always been fantastic. We’ve been customers and fans of their products for many years and we always will be. The ATV Spot Sprayer is not up to their usual standard though and they need to work with the vendor to improve it. In fact, we’ll make the offer to do the further development work for them if needed.
We’re not trying to come down hard on the Cabela’s sprayer. It’s a great tool that saves a ton of time but it could be so much better with a few simple improvements. Like we said earlier, it’s our job to let you know exactly what to expect.
ATV SPOT SPRAYER
Part no. IK-521346
Regular Price: $99.99 - $169.99
Sale Price: $79.99 - $129.99