Before loading each film I just poke each one loose (where necessary) with something small like a pen. It just takes a few seconds for each.
I also keep my reels quite clean.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I have a couple of reels left with the balls still in them, the rest have been removed. I only use them when I need all six reels at once, and then I make sure I clean them thoroughly with a toothbrush, hot water and detergent, Frankly, the next time I need all six reels, I'm going to pop the balls out of the last two. I find if the reels are clean and dry, the film slides on very easily without them. By and large, they're more bother than they're worth, IMO.
I have never personally had this problem with Paterson reels. I have had colleagues who encountered this problem and in every case it was due to the reels not being thoroughly dry. In one particular instance this was despite the reels having been left unused for several weeks. In this case the problem was solved by giving the reels a strong shake after use and then repeating the following day.
Having acquired my reels from several sources and in new to well used condition, I used the vinegar soak solution with a toothbrush, followed by a good soapy water soak and clean water rinse. All the little balls seem to be rolling properly. A couple of reels are not Patterson and have stainless ball bearings. That seems like a reasonable approach. Given that I'm a little compulsive about keeping stuff clean and the fact that I use only well filtered rainwater for processing, my hope is for not sticky reel future. Bill Barber
The original, clear, Paterson reels were difficult to load but the white ones are made from a self-lubricating plastic and work pretty well as long as they are perfectly dry.
The only major issue is caused by a few early Leicas which rolled the film onto the take-up spool emulsion out. This gave the film a reverse curl which made it impossible to load!
Have you tried cutting the leading edge of the film between the sprocket holes, not through them. Then trim off the leading corners just a touch at 45 degrees as this will stop them digging into the sides of the grooves so much.