I have a couple of brown reels that work fabulously - I have also found that spending 2-3 minutes cleaning after each round of developing (as opposed to once every 2-3 months) prevents buildup much more effectively. I use really hot water, some bleach (as Ian suggests) and take the 2-3 minutes to clean with scrubbing pads (not steel wool, the plastic type). The result is I rarely need to clean more than those couple of minutes.
The other option is to have a $1 jug which is big enough to hold the film and use it only for wetting agent - develop the film, wash and then take film off the reels to sit in the jug for 2-3 minutes before hanging to dry. This way, there is never any chance of the reels becoming clogged.