I usually use the Arista reels and the wide landing strips are nice to work with in the dark. I am also in the habit of loading two rolls onto one reel, taping the end of the first to the beginning of the second. This is certainly less nerve-wracking than using the Paterson reels. I recently bought 3 new Paterson reels and have found them surprisingly well behaved and have even managed to double load a roll without any problems.

I quickly developed a 'style'. Instead of trying to lead both edges of the film into both flanges simultaneously, I keep the one side still and crank the other away, as if were winding on. Then I load one edge into the flange and then I wind the other side back, slowly feeding the second edge of the film in. Then i pull it through and begin winding on. I know it's hard to explain, but it works for me, even when taping two rolls together.