If you forget to rotate the interior section of the loader to open the light trap, the film ends up looking like this. I doubt such fearsome scratching could be anything else.
So best take the bulk film out of the watson and load a cassette in a changing bag.
Good luck trying that one. I suggest you try a very short length. And the advice of others on other threads about cassettes might obtain: get a few cassettes from the local mini-lab that leaves a stub out of the cartridge, rather than opening the cartridge. Might simplify; and if you still have those scratches, suspect the film.
But as I said--having been there, done that--the Watson loader requires you to rotate the inner section to Open (I think that's the term--it's been more than 40 years since I used one) after you have attached the leader to the film cassette, closed the film cassette, and replaced the little door to the film cassette chamber.
Failing to do that means that you drag the film around the edges of the light trap in the Watson loader--it feels heavy going, too; which might be what you are feeling rather than crud and detritis on the film from its storage.
***the Watson loader requires you to rotate the inner section to Open***
That's the answer, I forgot to do that...........you have earned some brownie points.
Old thread, still good information.
Happened to me too on my first two rolls with the watson loader.. forgot to rotate to open the light trap...
Now there's a little not on the loader "DONT FORGET!"...
Well a dark room with table and comfy chair is best scissors and reloadable spools.
If you have plain plastic spools you will need to stick on the tape in daylight to spool with bulk reel still in can. This is a good party trick.
Forget 42 unless you are using PET and have the special Ilford 72 tank and manual counter on camera like a Leica M2 which keeps on counting past zero...
try for 36.
If you don't like losing three frames with a Watson or other tear drop you need a changing bag as well as loader.
snip film with 1 inch protruding from trap attach spool and cassette.
zip into cbag open trap of loader seat cassette push in winder close light trap and loader door unzip bag, open light trap wind on 41 or 42 frames.
This should protect the 36th frame or 37th even with a small camera, but it is best to stop at 35.
It does need concentration. Id not bother cept if you are using short ends or special film.
The number of frames that you can get in a cassette depends on the thickness of the film. For cine film like Eastman 5222 this is 30 exposures. Trying to get more can results in the film binding particularly when rewinding. Still films will vary a bit but 36 exposures is used for a reason.
BTW, loading film requires the upmost in cleanliness on the loaders part. In addition cassettes do not last forever and need to be keep scrupulously clean. You can buy little brushes intended to clean between the teeth. They are excellent for cleaning the felt light traps in cassettes. They are made by Butler.
This is exactly the tip I would like to share.
I can get about 18.5 rolls of 39exp out of 100ft with this method - for a standard 36exp roll film I usually get 39exp out of it, so here I am seeking for equivalent in bulk loading. In this case, I stops when I hear 42 clicks with my Arden 74 bulk loader.
But later I realized this is not the best for archiving because the sleeve I use is 6 x 7. For 39 exp, it becomes 6 x 6 + 3. Half row of the sleeve is wasted.
So now I stop at 39 clicks when bulk loading. It gives me about 35-36 exp per roll. And I can get about 20 rolls out of 100ft.