I'm trying to visualize what is happening as well. Are you working with 35mm film, and the leader is "curling" under?

If so, an effective remedy is to cut the leader off, leaving a square end on the entering film. I do that as a matter of course.

I'm still not sure of what is happening - I've developed - oh I don't know ... more than 1000 rolls of film by now, and have misloaded the tank - probably 4 or 5 times - always by the film "jumping out of the tracks" in the reels.
I don't think I have ever touched the film emulsion when loading.

BTW - I am a perfectionist - trying to keep that drive toward *absolute* within reasonable bounds. Newly developed images on wet film emulsion are at their softest, most delicate state ... and I choose to risk them as little as possible; therefore for very little cost I use a dedicated film squeegee (sp?)- and wet it in the final wash/wetting agent before *light* and one-time use.