To the OP:
Did you try practicing with the Paterson reels before you used them?
I use the AP/Samigon/Arista reels with the wider flanges for 120, either in an AP tank or a Paterson tank.
For 35mm I prefer steel reels, but am comfortable with either the AP or Paterson plastic reels.
I do check that the ball bearings move freely before I load each plastic reel.