Patterson reels, emulsion side facing into the centre of the reel. The film curls down, so my finger has to go on the emulsion side to straighten it to get the film on the reel. In other words I use my finger to hold the curled film away from the reel while spooling it on. The film uncurls over my finger before going onto the spool, and it's the emulsion side that touches my finger.
Re "ok before developing" means I use my fingers on the film after development to remove excess water (as do others, separate topic sort of), but is there any difference using your fingers before or after development - in other words is the emulsion side less liable for scratching before development?
I haven't had a problem so far, so it's probably a non-issue as suggested, but I'm curious now as to how others do it.