Thank you folks! Going by the strong consensus, guess I'll have to be more careful with my reel next time.

Bill: It appears as though you've seen my reel Yes, I usually get a couple of empty spirals at the end. Used to think they were just buffers.
I normally don't use the metal clip at all and just start rolling on the middle bars.Is the clip really that important?
I ask because after watching a few YouTube video lessons (Art of Photography by Ted Forbes), it seemed like the clip can be ignored.

Albada: Not sure if Hewes will be available where I am. However, the reel I'm using looks really really similar to Hewes'.

Ezzie: Thank you. I was surprised about the dev results too. Destroyed my first roll (soda was probably too strong, and not anhydrous), but from the second roll onwards, getting at least 26-28 frames right.
Hopefully, that number will get to 37 once I learn how to load properly onto the reel.

Cheers,
Som