The pen is pretty small, about the size of the Merlina or Merlin 33 that Richard Binder used to sell. The body is lightweight and the resin is a murky-ish clear. It looks and feels kinda cheap, but that is okay, because it has a nib that i really like. The nib i got is pretty flexible. Not quite as wide a flex as a Waterman 52 or as soft as my Merlina/Merlin 33s but certainly comparable to my Mitaka and even some of my Mabie Todd Swans.
The pen did initially suffer from some railroading at the start, but that soon went away with frequent use. The jury is still out on the railroading though, it might be a persistent problem, it might not. I have not had the pen long enough to tell. What i can say though is that i love this nib, despite the problems with the feed and for $14 bucks a pop, I might get more of this model and transplant the nibs to other pens with better feeds. I am amazed at how the nib sings though, given the price and that it is a steel nib.
The green band on the cap is some green plumber’s tape that I stuck on over the vent hole to hopefully prevent the nib drying out . ‘Choo Choo Pen’ refers to the frustration i felt at the initial frequent railroading, before it mysteriously resolved itself. Perhaps i did not flush the pen thoroughly enough before use. I only used dishwashing liquid and some water to flush it and still had railroading, though that problem is less marked now.
The no-frills aesthetic of the pen. Not much to look at, but boy does that nib sing. Pen is a piston fill but it does not hold all that much ink and the pen is a bit of a wet writer. It probably doesn’t help ink conservation that I took out the feed and enlarged the channel with a X-Acto knife. haha. Removing the nib and feed is very easy. Just get a firm grip and pull. I used section pliers to help with the grip and tugged the nib/feed out with no problems.
The nib engraved with the words ‘Noodlers Ink Co’. You can see that the slit goes all the way to the body of the pen. I have never seen a slit that runs this far back down the body of the nib, but hey, if it works, it works. As mentioned above, I am pretty glad that Noodler’s are bringing back steel flex nibs. It’s been a good long while since these have been around. Previous examples that come to mind are the Esterbrook 9128 and 9048 nibs and Japanese Shiro nibs, such as on my Mitaka. It does go to show that you don’t need gold for flex.
Writing sample above. You can see that the flex of the Noodlers is comparable to the Mitaka, though the Mitaka has thinner hairlines since i had it sent to Greg Minuskin. I really like the nib on the Noodlers and how it lets me whale on it rather carelessly without too much worry of springing the tines.
Preliminary opinion is that the Noodlers Flex pen seems a little like a work-in-progress, but they’re off to a good start with a brilliant nib and a reasonable price. I fully intend to get a couple more when the shops are restocked. They appear to all be sold out now, and with good reason. This is a fun pen that i enjoyed writing with and would make a good introduction to flex for those curious to see what the big whoop about flex is. Of course, the writing would be much nicer if i bothered to write in the Copperplate or Spencerian style, but i save that sort of disciplined approach for the dip pens and writing with this pen was really all about having fun and playing with it. At $14/- bucks a pop, it’s a damned good buy and a lot of fun.