If you’ve been reading my Fountain Pen 101 series, you’ve seen a couple of shout-outs to Regalia Writing Labs. Beyond being a genius with nibs, Ralph Reyes, the creator, is a really nice guy.
He offered a limited run of “Full-Flex” nibs a few months ago, and Jim was lucky enough to snag one. It was absolutely amazing. Check out this fabulous flexibility. I wasn’t even putting much pressure on it.
So when Ralph announced a Semiflex nib was coming, I turned on post and story notifications for his Instagram account and eagerly awaited the start of the sale. I was lucky. I got my hands on a nib, as did Jim. It took a while, but our nibs finally arrived on Monday.
Ralph did an amazing job with the packaging. I felt like I was getting a piece of jewelry. And I loved the custom seal.
Without wasting any time, I swapped it out with the nib in my Woodshed Pen Co. Spring 1 pen.
The Semiflex nib is a modified Jowo #6 EF nib with, what I’m assuming is, a custom feed. The nib slit has been extended, and there are notches and cut-outs on the sides to enable flex. The feed is completely different than the typical Jowo feeds, as you can see below.
So, enough story, let’s get to the review.
Let me start by saying that in use, I don’t think I’m pushing the Semiflex to its max flex capability, but I don’t want to run the risk of ruining it.
Using the Semiflex the way I feel comfortable doing so, I get a line variation from approximately 1/3mm to just over 1mm. If using a lighter hand to start, you can probably get an even thinner line.
My favorite part about the nib is that the ink stays in the flexed portions. With all of my other flex nibs, the ink will run past the flexed area to the non-flex area, making the line thicker. The Semiflex doesn’t cause that. You get crisp lines and perfect increase/decrease curves.
Despite being, or perhaps because it’s, labeled a semi-flex, the Semiflex is fairly firm. It takes some pressure to flex, like a Noodler’s Ahab. But I like it, because when it means you can easily use it as a non-flex nib when writing quickly. I think the firmness makes it more versatile.
I’m using the Semiflex with a converter. I haven’t had any issues with the flow, which is great, but it’s certainly an ink hog when you flex it. If you intend to do a lot of flexy writing, you’d be better served by putting the Semiflex in an eyedropper pen.
The Semiflex offers minimal feedback. It’s no different than a typical Jowo nib, roughly on par with a Lamy Safari or Pilot Metropolitan (in terms of feedback). There isn’t any scratchiness. The Semiflex is as smooth as butter.
Cleanliness of Modifications
The modifications are incredibly well done. If someone handed me one without telling me what it was (and without me knowing what it was) and said it’s a new stock Jowo, I’d believe them. If you want to get REALLY picky, the slit extension is a TEENSY bit wider than the original slit, although the difference is almost imperceptible. It extends down to the nib size stamp, but it perfectly bisects the E and the F, making it look planned, rather than an addition.
I bought this nib hoping it would make a Spencerian nib modification unnecessary, and it does. If you’re at all curious about Spencerian mods, get yourself one of these when they’re next available. I give the Semiflex a solid 5 stars, and I can’t wait to see what Ralph comes out with next. I’m hoping the Sequel is available soon.