Also make sure everything is dry. I used to rinse my reels and tank before loading until I learned that was likely the cause of my loading problems
Yup. Always have enough reels for the amount of film you plan to be developing at one time. They are inexpensive (most of the time) and it's the only thing you really need to be dry, so you can just have the single tank and 12 reels if you want to. Heh.
No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.