I'm still new to developing film, and I currently have a 0% success rate in developing a roll of film without issues (120 and 135). In every case the fault lies with the reel (in some cases, my inability to load it easily). The three main issues I have are:
  1. film not developing in places (I'm guessing it's touching in the reel)
  2. film creasing due to the ball-bearings jamming on bending film
  3. it's just to darn hard to do in a bag!

I've come to the realization that Paterson reels are just a lazy design, as someone with my limited film experience can find ways of improving it, while still making it out of moulded plastic for the same manufacturing price. Those guys just don't seem to care about how their product is used. It may not impact you experienced guys, but they make life harder than it needs to be for us beginners.

My main complaint is the guide flange is far too small for 120 film, and doesn't cover the ball bearing, which is the obvious place for the film to need guiding. Is there any reel that does? I'm trying to look at an AP ones online and I can see the nice big flange, but not how it grips film.

Are there any better reels than this out there?

Also, does anyone know who sells these?