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Thursday, 20 August 2009

Review: Noodler's Eel Lubricating Ink

I was struggling with a very dry-writing Parker 61, admittedly with an EF nib, when the chance of a trade with my good friend Jackie (@Jafferty on Twitter) from the blog Letters & Journals came up. Jackie's blog has some great posts about letter-writing, journaling, pens and stationery, as well as detailing progress of the magazine she is setting up, due for launch at the end of 2010, or the beginning of 2011. If you can help with Jackie's magazine surveys, please head on over here, it will only take you a few minutes.

Jackie asked if there was anything she could send me as the US part of the deal and I plumped for some Noodler's eel lubricating ink in the hope that might cure the 61, it was either that or the Parker would have to go off somewhere for a bit of a professional 'talking to.' Also, as far as I know, Noodler's eel inks are not available in the UK yet; at least nobody I asked stocks it.

Emails and packages duly exchanged, I am now the proud owner of not one, but two bottles of Noodler's eel ink in Cactus Fruit (pink/purple) and Gruene Cactus (green); Jackie, I thank you for your generosity, and for this awesome postcard which preceded your package.

Lily pads, Moose Lake State Park, Minnesota

The plan was to wait till I had plenty of time and to approach the whole rinsing, filling and testing procedure with some form of calm and precision - like that was going to happen! Having had mediocre to poor results teaming my Parker 61 with Private Reserve Sonic Blue, Parker Quink Black and J Herbin Eclat de Saphir, the latter of which was a surprise as I have found J Herbin inks to be quite free-flowing normally, I couldn't wait to try the Noodler's eel and so rushed off to change the ink almost as soon as I had Jackie's package open.

I decided to try the Cactus Fruit first, and can honestly say this stuff is nothing short of amazing! My Parker 61 is like a different pen, starting first time without protest and laying down smooth, wet, extra fine lines as I had always imagined it should.

Cactus Fruit is an interesting colour which I'll do my best to describe - it's kind of a deep cerise pink with a hint of purple, though under some lighting conditions there appears to be a slight blue cast to it, meaning that I would have to classify it as a 'cool' colour. Either way, it's certainly eye-catching and is a pleasure to write with. Gruene Cactus is more of a bright, mid green and I plan to try that one out when the current fill of Cactus Fruit runs out.

From what I've read, Noodler's eel lubricating inks were developed to counter the effects of detergents in some modern inks which can, over time, leach away the lubricants from fountain pen pistons and seals, leading to stiff filling mechanisms. A side-effect of the formulation is the super-smooth writing effect and improved ink flow I am now experiencing in my Parker.

At a Glance

Model: Noodler's Eel Lubricating Ink
Colours: Cactus Fruit, Gruene Cactus, Polar Black, Blue, Turquoise and Rattler Red.
Available from: Noodler's and Noodler's dealers
Price: msrp $12.50
Overall: 5 out of 5



phonelady said...

Oh I am so jealous . Lucky guy you . Looks like nice ink . great blog and take care.

Joe and Jackie Flaherty said...

Thanks so much for the awesome article about our swap, my blog,the ink reviews (and pictures). You do an excellent job on describing and explaining things.

Adding the photo of the postcard was a nice touch :)

Thanks again!

Mike said...

Wow! I'm surprised that the ink color is so bright. I really like that Gruene Cactus color. Great post!

Sam said...

Phonelady - Thanks for those kind words. If you're jealous now, wait till I review my Parker 61! ;) It's an early birthday present from my wonderful wife, so I don't 'officially' have it yet.

Jackie - You're welcome, I hope you're enjoying the package I sent you. Thanks for the feedback on my writing, I really do appreciate it. :)

Mike - Great comment, thanks! Yes, Gruene Cactus is fairly bright, it's a good strong colour, I think the second picture with the writing sample is the closest to the true shade.

Thanks for the great feedback, I really do have some awesome readers! :)

Mike said...

Does the color vary depending on the type of paper you use? I'd assume so as some paper might soak up the ink better than others.

Sam said...

Surprisingly, the colour has been fairly stable so far, irrespective of the type of paper used, and the saturation is consistently good. The writing sample was done on Asda Exec cream paper, the ink swatch is on watercolour paper and I also used cheap white office paper during initial tests; if anything the colour looks a little warmer on the cream paper.

Anonymous said...

These lovely pen posts are making me want to try writing with cartridge or fountain pens again. I have been reluctant because I naturally hold my pens in an odd way - almost backwards, so the nib is facing towards me, and it's always been like that. I'm told it's linked to a right-brained approach, but I would need to research that. The nib of my favourite cartridge pen broke when I was ten, and I'll never know if it was because it was because of my natural writing style, whether it had just come to the end of its useful life, or because it was just one of those cheap pens for school use. You certainly know a heck of a lot about pens. Love reading it.

Oh and I notice you hand write your posts before putting them on your blog - I've started doing elements of that, and you have beautiful handwriting :-)

Sam said...

PoetryDuck - Oh, I don't know that much, there are much more knowledgeable fountain pen folks than me. :) Thanks for those (very) kind words about my illegible scrawl!

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