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I am a new fp enthusiast. My first pen is a Noodlers Ahab flex nib and I love it! I love how it writes. I enjoy composing correspondence to my distant friends with this pen. I love the wide variety of Noodlers ink colors I buy. Noodlers inks are the only ones Ive used. The current favorite of mine is the legal blue.
My question lies in the amount of ink that is regularly on the nib and the section. Im going to try to upload pictures to show you what Im experiencing. I try really hard to store my pens nib up. Ive noticed that heat, sunlight, hot car, etc... encourages what I think is called nib creep and Ive tried to minimize that. If this is normal Im fine with it but if theres something I can do, please let me know.
My photo files are too large at this moment. I get so much ink on my finger that supports my pen that, if Im using red ink, people ask me if Im bleeding. I try to keep a tissue with me to wipe the section before I write but I often forget the tissue and I dont forget my pen. The ink amount thats on the end of the pen keeps me worried about leaks into my day bag so I dont carry my pen in my bag (would be helpful to be able to do so) and Id really like to do so.



Edited by Mamawings22
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The only time I have had this problem is when the nib was not seated deeply enough on the feed. Rinse the cap, and if the water comes out inky, you may have the same problem.


It was because the widest part of the nib was above the widest part of the feed. Once I rectified that, the problem ceased.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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The only time I have had this problem is when the nib was not seated deeply enough on the feed. Rinse the cap, and if the water comes out inky, you may have the same problem.


It was because the widest part of the nib was above the widest part of the feed. Once I rectified that, the problem ceased.



Thank you for the reply. I know my cap rinse water will come out inky. I am going to try this "fix" later on today and I'll let you know if it works.

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Noodlers pens get inky. Play with nib and feed alignment and it should help.

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I'm so tough I vacation in Detroit.

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I agree that resetting the nib and feed may fix your problem.


Always seems to be ink on my fingers. There are times when I need to get cleaned up and not look like a fountain pen geek. I reach for some Ink Zap. Works really well. Not sure of other sources, but this is where I get it from https://www.indy-pen-dance.com/. (No affiliation)


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Still making adjustments. Not sure Ive found the right nib and feed set, yet.

Do get to try some other models of pens as well, tho I have not used a noodlers ahab, my understanding with these pens is that they tend to get inky with pretty much everything. And welcome to the FPN!

"Storyteller, unfold thy words untold!"

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Thank you. One reason I went with the Ahab was the flex nib. Are there other brands that offer a flex nib?

There are vintage pens often with real flex nibs. Like Waterman 52s and Swan MTs.

Edited by mitto

Khan M. Ilyas

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Hi, while dealing with vintage flex nibs, yes you agreed to get finger to be inky, but may be not like in the picture you posted.


If vintage flex nibs are not important, you definitely has choice, even there are newly made flex pens available in the market.


Looking at the picture, thought its not clear, please check if the section has any problem.

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I recommend you get a dependable, no-nonsense starter fountain pen with a reputation for reliability. Good choices include the Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Safari, and TWSBI Eco. Learn how to use, fill, clean and write with one of these pens. (There are other choices. Sellers like Goulet Pens have lists of recommended starter pens).


Then, knowing what to expect, you can branch out into vintage pens, flex pens, and pens with high-maintenance reputations like the Noodlers pens.


Finally, your fingers get much less inky as you get experience handling and filling fountain pens.

Edited by ErrantSmudge
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I love fountain pens, but can not stand inky fingers. None of my pens leak when properly filled and closed -- from the cheapest Jinhao or Wing Sung up to my most expensive Sailor, Waterman, Montblac, Pelikan, etc.


When I fill or clean my pens, I always wear disposable vinyl or latex gloves -- pick up a 100 pack for $10 at Walgreens. No inky fingers! Also great when chopping jalapenos, habaneros, etc.

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Thank you. One reason I went with the Ahab was the flex nib. Are there other brands that offer a flex nib?



Flex is kind of a massive topic. Many people will swear up and down that no flex nib made in the last two or three decades (outside of dip pen nibs) can hold a candle to "vintage flex". Personally I've never tried a vintage flex nib so I have no frame of reference and no advice on how to get your hands on a vintage flex nib, but I do suspect that "vintage flex" might not be a good starting point for a new fountain pen user as it takes time to learn not to apply pressure when writing the way you have to with a ballpoint pen, and I've heard that it's easy to push a vintage nib too hard and end up damaging it without realising it. So I would recommend sticking to modern flex nibs and dip pens for a while.


As far as makers of modern flex nibs, I am personally aware of a few possibilities:

Noodlers: Noodler's pens have a reputation for requiring tinkering, making them not ideal as starter pens for new fountain pen users. Their flex nibs require more force to flex than most pens.

Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR): have a number of pens with flex nibs that are very similar to Noodler's flex nibs (I've heard some people say their #6 is a bit better but their #5.5 is a bit worse). The Himalaya has a similar filling system to the Ahab, but the Triveni uses Standard International cartridges and converters (or can be used as an eyedropper, as can the Himalaya) which means it is easier to use and probably less likely to get ink everywhere (but it might be harder to keep it from railroading; you might need to find really wet inks to use in it). Both these pens are made of ebonite, which is nice.

FPNibs: can modify a modern gold Jowo nib to be flexible. I've heard good things, but you'll be paying around 140 euros or more just for a nib (but many pens will be compatible with that nib so the idea is if you find a pen you really like you can get a flex nib made for it later).

Conklin: offer flex nibs on some of their pens such as the Duragraphs (prices in the $60 range I believe). I have heard mixed reports about these pens and nibs, but some are very pretty.

Pilot/Namiki Falcon & Elabo: somewhat expensive (pens start in the $150 range but they have gold nibs), my understanding is that they won't flex as far as a Noodlers or FPR nib but they do flex more easily (and are available in finer nibs, which means even if they don't flex as far you're starting from a thinner line to begin with so you still get good line variation overall).

Regalia does sell flex nibs, but I don't know how often they are available or how well they work.

I've heard that Jinhao has a gold nib available in some pens for a fairly low price (around $40 I think) that has some flex. I don't really know the details.


I believe that there are one or two other manufacturers making modern flex nibs that I can't remember off the top of my head. Another option is a dip pen; dip pen nibs can give you a lot of line variation, but they are untipped so they are not very smooth and they wear out and rust quickly; nibs can be had for around a dollar I guess and I've heard they last around a week of normal use.


There are also fountain pens that takes dip nibs. Desiderata Pens is one option, although I believe a Jinhao x450 or x750 will also take Zebra flex nibs without needing any modification (but railroading might be an issue), as will an Ahab with a little work (or so I've heard).


By the way, this is a little off topic, but the Noodlers and FPR flex nibs can be modified to require less work to flex if you are willing to take a dremel tool to your nib (luckily replacement nibs are not too expensive). Check out this thread: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/240492-noodlers-ahab-ease-my-flex-mod/



Just a disclaimer: I'm interested in flex, but I haven't done too much experimentation and I'm still learning; I wrote in this post about the options I've learned of on this forum, but I don't have experience with that many of them.

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Thank you. One reason I went with the Ahab was the flex nib. Are there other brands that offer a flex nib?

IMX, Noodler's pens are kind of like a 1965 Alfa Romeo -- prone to trouble, and in constant need of tinkering. There are plenty of pens that don't have the reliability problems that Noodler's often have. These include the Pilot MR (sold as Metropolitan, Cocoon, etc), Lamy Safari, TWSBI Eco, and (my favorite) Platinum Plaisir. Search for any of the numberous "Recommend a starter pen" threads. Few, if any, are likely to have much flex.


You might want to seat your nib and feed as tightly as you can manage, and then heat-set them. There are plenty of videos on YouTube regarding heat-setting. Nota bene, only ebonite/ hard rubber feeds can be heat set. This will reduce ink flow, and make it harder to get the sort of ink flow that flex can require. It's possible that your particular Ahab can't both run clean, and provide enough inkflow to do flex without railroading. Life is all about trade-offs.


You might have better luck with another vendor using Indian manufacturers, to wit, Fountain Pen Revolution. [ https://fprevolutionusa.com ] I haven't tried their flex nibs yet, but reviewers there who compare them to the Noodler's #6 flex nib say that FPR's are more flexible. I have an FPR Himalaya with their #5.5 nibs, and it's never had that level of creep, especially not down the section. Of course, I have their 1.0mm stub nib in it, which has really very little line variation. The next time I order from them, I'm going to get one of their flex nibs to put in it.


Some inks creep more than others. They also tend to feather more, flow more heavily, and are generally more likely to be described as "wet." This makes it easier to get the wide lines of flex, and harder to get the hairlines that you also want. Trade-offs.

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