Most gels dry me out too but I'm sensitive to certain proteins they use in gels. (Wheat, hops, etc.) And those that don't dry me out tend to me too strong in the crunch department.
You should always layer and have a good moisturizing leave in along with a few drops of oil to seal. I mix my KCKT with 4 drops jojoba in my palms and then apply to hair before I put any gel.
+1 on flaxseed gel. It may not have enough hold on its own but it's so easy to make and really moisturizing. You can add good stuff to it too. I made a new batch late last night and added aloe gel. (When I get restless at night I always feel the need to cook or bake something. I know I'm strange.
I also made a banana loaf.)
My favorite gel so far is CJ Pattern Pusha. It's a light to medium hold, does not crunch, has a nice scent (sort of like melon and cucumbers), and is protein free. My favorite jelly is KCCC because it's moisturizing and makes my hair look and feel awesome, always!
3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)
CG since Nov. 2012
Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
Sealers: Jojoba* or Grapeseed* oil
* = HG