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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Noodler's new Ahab pen...

For me, it's a winner!  After watching Brian Goulet's videos on how to clean, disassemble, and tweak your Noodler's pens, I LOVE my regular flex pens too, but the only drawback was how quickly I ran out of ink when sketching.  Flex nibs just DO use more ink, that's the nature of the beast...and the smaller Creaper Flex pens don't hold much...

Ahab DOES.  I filled it before I left home, spent 5 days in Nevada sketching, and still have a pen that's over half full (I got the clear demonstrator model so I could keep track of that!)

It has a pump action, and when you fill it, both sections fill up.  You can see I didn't use very much of the main section, only the ink in the pump itself.

Brian Goulet  gives excellent customer service and answers questions promptly...he's made a number of videos that clearly explain all the details.  Check out their site HERE.

I love being able to take these pens apart, tweak them, completely clean them, etc.--I'm delighted not to be afraid of my pen!  They're inexpensive enough that this is a real boon, as well.  (With some of my other pens, the Namiki, for instance, I'm afraid to take it out in the field, and the antique pens I send out to an expert to be serviced.  SO nice to save $40 or so and just be able to do it myself.

I'll admit I wasn't sold on these pens at first...once I learned to clean and adjust them, I couldn't be happier.  And they're $14 and $20 pens!

These are only a few of the sketches I did, by the way!

I test drove it for flex against several of my other pens...the Namiki Falcon at top, my antique-but-temperamental Waterman 52, the original Noodler's Flex, and the Ahab at the bottom...they're all pretty comparable (though the Namiki doesn't go as fine), and I don't have to push too hard to flex.

You DO have to slow down a bit on the Noodler's pens when fully flexed or you bet some railroading (double lines), but they're very versatile and so far very dependable!

Both the paper and the ink you're using make a difference in how these pens perform...or ANY pen, as far as that goes.  I've found Noodler's Lexington Grey to work best for me.  I bought the new brown formula ink, and was disappointed that my Ahab wasn't pleased with it...it didn't want to feed well.  I cleaned the pen thoroughly, loaded it with Lexy Grey and it performs like a champ.


  1. Glad to hear the Ahab is good - I am going to order one or two to try it out. It seems like a nicer sized pen than the original, I found that one a bit too small for my liking.

  2. I think I'd like something right between the two, Nina! I DO like the small one, it's about exactly the same as my antique Waterman, but it goes through ink awfully quickly! The Ahab is terrific, but when the cap is pegged it feels a tiny bit too big. I'll manage. *G*

  3. Ooh that looks like fun, will have to order one now! Thanks for the trial run!

  4. Love the varied line work (and your drawings!) you get with this pen. I've always used Pigma Microns but then I switch from size to size as I'm working. Maybe this would be a fun alternative. Thanks for the tip, I'll check them out!

  5. That's what I've done for years too, Richard, but I'm really enjoying the versatility all in one pen!

  6. I love my new Ahab and think it has become a favourite for daily use.

  7. Glad to hear it! It's a real bargain, I think...

  8. Already ordered my Ahab and can't wait. I put my Noodler's Nib of the regular Flex pen into my TWSBI fountain pen and love the combination (had to fumble with it). Now my question is - what do i gain with the Namiki Falcon? I would like one, but is it any different? What Nibsize would be good and did you get yours extra modified for flex?

  9. Ulli, that's brilliant! I'll have to give it a try! I've got a TWSBI, which I really like except it doesn't flex.

    The Falcon isn't a LOT different, except it's so very dependable. I can ignore mine for months, pick it up, and it works perfectly. I didn't get the nib modified, and wish I had...still may. As you can tell, it's got quite a bit of flex, but not as fine as it might be. It's very smooth, too, by the way...gold nibs just are.

  10. Oh, it's only semi-brilliant, the Noodler's Nib looks somewhat smallish in the TWSBI and i had to 'open up' the feed of the TWSBI - to get more flow for the flex, but you can get whole nib sections for it, so i just gave it a try. It does take a while (and some inky fingerns) to get this to write, but it is a favorite now!
    But I don't want people to destroy their pens...

    What I'm looking for in the Namiki Falcon is not so much the line variation, but a soft 'touchy' feeling with the gold nib on paper.. Like with dip pens, but they are so scratchy sometimes..plus they're not practical for going outside.

  11. Cathy,

    Can I ask in this photo http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OrTz-w7UteY/Tue8qIO6x4I/AAAAAAAADmI/1TtmUEtjX_U/s1600/Redrock.jpg what fountain ink did you use? Lexington Grey?

    I am looking to do similar fountain pen drawings with water wash over the top, but fountain pens can run due to them being water based.

    Is this photo a wash over a fountain pen drawing?

    Yours truly,

  12. I bought two Ahab's awhile back. One for a friend, and one for me. Her's works great, I couldn't get mine to work at all - it starts and stops, is Very scratchy, and just doesn't feed well. I've tried everything I could think of, and that Goulet Pens suggested - to no avail. Goulet gave me a refund, but I really wanted a flex pen. Very disappointing.

    1. How frustrating! I know what you mean, though, I had a Konrad (their newer middle size) that didn't work nearly as well. Glad Goulet refunded, they're lovely people to work with.

  13. Somehow with my Ahab I end up with ink all over my fingers. I don't have that problem with my Konrad or theNib Creaper.

  14. Somehow with my Ahab I end up with ink all over my fingers. I don't have that problem with my Konrad or theNib Creaper.


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