Hi Jeff,
thank you for starting a discussion! You nailed problem with old and stubborn, curly & dry film rolls. That is reason why I would like to do "firmer set up"/glued with Paterson reel. Did you cut corners of the film before loading? Just a bit to take off that 90 degrees, for easier loading. I always do it with all 35mm and 120/127 films? On other hand, 70mm film I'm currently using is very soft for handling, way softer than regular 120 and still, I do not have any problem loading it in SS reel.
I will still check what kind of vintage 116 processing tank I can find here, locally in Vancouver.
Stone, Thank you for details about FR and Ansco tanks. I will not worry too much about lack of modern features on old tanks and lack of liquid tightness. I do not process 70mm every day and I'm fine with ghetto method of processing film on the reel in dark in open deep dish. Hey, It's poor man dip and dunk processor!
I always have ruler with me when I go to Camera swap meetings. I'm sure they made 116 SS reels. We just need to look around more! Film was manufactured until recently, well, until 20-30 years ago.
Last week I went to the store where I bought my 70mm long reel and they didn't have any more left but they had 2 brand new, still in the box Nikor 3.5" x100' reels. Never heard of 3.5" film? 5" film, yes.