Noodler’s Ahab’s Pearl Fountain Pen


Noodler’s hit the mark with the Ahab model. It’s attractive, chunky, and sports a stainless flexible nib for around $20. What’s not to love about that?

Noodler's Ahab's Pearl and Noodler's Konrad Fountain Pens

Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands USA sent an Ahab’s Pearl for review. Its silvery, pearlescent white color and stainless appointments make an attractive and neutral pen. Headed into spring it’s a great match for seasonal colors but it’s just as good with the rest of the spectrum. Absolutely every color works well with it.

According to Peyton Street Pens the Ahab “is made of a celluloid derivative and is technically biodegradable and formed from a “renewable resource.” Given the material, care in cleaning is recommended. However, if you don’t let ink dry out in the feed, a rinse with cool to lukewarm water is all it takes to make the Ahab ready for a new ink.

Noodler's Ahab and Konrad Fountain Pens

The Ahab is larger than the Konrad but has the same slightly flexible nib. Previous remarks about it apply. The upside is that employing a light touch, the nib is stiff enough to be used like a normal fine nib. Put a bit more pressure on the nib and the line turns broad. That makes it versatile.

The downside is that the nib is too stiff to make supple lines easily. It improves with use and, for writers new to soft nibs, this is probably a benefit. It is easy to bend a really flexible nib too far and either release a flood of ink or overextend a nib causing damage. The Ahab nib should stand up to that learning curve quite well. Another benefit is that the Noodler’s nib will adapt to your hand as you grow accustomed to it. Use it enough and you will become a team. Use it rarely and you may enjoy the outings less. Reaching full potential will take a little effort.

Noodler's Ahab Filler

The Ahab’s pump filler is simple and easy to use. The instruction sheet explains the process. The pen has a significant flow of ink which indicates the filler is a good type for the nib. No restrictions, skips or railroad tracks which is not something all flexible nib pens can boast.

Noodler's Ahab's Pearl and Kiowa Pecan on Rhodia paper

On the Rhodia Bloc No 16 tablet, it deposited so much ink that I had to leave it for a bit to dry but I’ve experienced longer drying times. However, unlike some inks that dry slowly, I couldn’t feel a layer of ink when I ran my finger over it.

Noodler's Ahab's Pearl and Kiowa Pecan on Apica

Noodler's Ahab Pearl with Kiowa Pecan on Apica - closeup view

Without flexing, the amount of ink on Apica 6A10 is just right but it is very free flowing when flexed. Too much ink resulted in some fuzzy edges but that’s happened with other combinations on Apica in the past. Anticipate some trial and error when looking for a good combination. If your Ahab doesn’t flow as freely as you would like, the ebonite feed can be adjusted according to the included instructions.

Initially, my daughter thought the Ahab’s Pearl smelled like cheese and the Konrad Tortoise like baby powder. A couple of weeks on my desk and the Ahab is now fragrance free. The Konrad is less aromatic but still mildly scented.

The Ahab comes in a variety of colors so it’s easy to find one that suits your favorite Noodler’s ink. Not that an Ahab won’t match well with another brand but the degree of lubrication with the Noodler’s inks I tested was a pleasure.

At around $40 for the Ahab, a bottle of ink, tax, and shipping, this is one sweet deal.


  1. My Ahab is the original clear one. In the beginning the nib was very firm, but with use over time, it’s gotten easier to flex. I like the size of it (very comfortable to hold) but the clip doesn’t feel very strong, so I don’t place any undue stress on it. The funky smell has faded, thankfully.


  2. I have two Ahabs and one Konrad. The Ahabs work pretty well with one flowing better than the other though both railroad when flexed, and the Konrad skips so often that it is useless in it’s present out-of-the box condition.


    • Sounds like your pens could use a little adjusting. Have you tried following the instructions that came with your pens?


      • I didn’t use heat to reset the feed because there was no gap between the nib and feed as there was in the vid Nathan posted on youtube. Also I didn’t trust my abilities to carve into the ebonite to increase the ink flow, But I did do everything else that I could do…. clean the feeds, repositioning the nibs and feeds in the pens bodies in various ways. I was eventually given a new feed for the Konrad and a refund too. The result with the new feed was no better than it was with the original feed that came with the Konrad. I’m no pen doctor but I think it may be the nib since it failed with both feeds. And as I said, the Ahabs both write but when flexed there is some railroading. I’m happy that you had good luck with yours but I don’t think it’s a universal experience. .


        • At least they tried to make it right/write for you.

          Railroading does spoil flex. My Pilot Custom 742FA is similarly afflicted. Someday I hope to find the perfect ink and paper for it. In the meantime, I get the best performance by writing slowly and not making the tines open too far.

          At least you can use your pens for regular writing so they don’t go to waste. Unfortunately, there are stinkers in every line of pens. There is so little margin for error in crafting a nib that it’s a wonder so many of them write as well as they do.


  3. FP Geeks were kind enough to send me an Ahab (I came up with the appellation “Ahab Executive” for the black and silver pen, and they liked that enough to send me one).

    I really like the pen – mine is a pretty wet writer, and it makes a nice sketching pen too (http://www.flickr.com/photos/john_the_monkey/8507348095/in/photostream was done with the Ahab). Mine’s uninked at the moment, as I’d like to try a sepia ink in it – must get around to buying a bottle!


    • I have some Waterman’s sepia ink and it is marvellous. I have it in a broad nibbed pen at the moment.


      • I didn’t know Watermans made a sepia – is that in their normal bottled ink line?


  4. Thank you for the review. Do you know how much this pen approx. weights? (grams)


    • According to FP Geeks, the Ahab weighs 18g. For the dimensions, that’s a very light weight pen.


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