It seems we are on a parallel course regarding 116 film development. For me the interest is in developing old rolls of found film, which often include the 116/616 format. Having been less than satisfied with an old vintage tank system that will do 116/616, as well as a more modern Paterson system I modified to accommodate it, I have lately been searching for a stainless steel reel in that size. But the old lasagna aprons are a possibility I hadn't even thought of! They appear to be very easy to load - something which is very important to me due to the rather strong "set" that very old rolls tend to have and which tends to make them much more fiddly to load.
Unfortunately, the aprons seem to be as hard to find as the SS reels in this size. But at least I have one more option to be on the lookout for. So thanks!