I started aiming for smaller clumps about a year ago. There are a few things that seem to work for me, in terms of technique. First, I try to stick to thinner gels. No Eco Styler for me. I also use a combo rake and scrunch technique- I've found that the raking breaks up the clumps, and with a strong hold gel I can still scrunch back my curls. The last thing I just noticed last week- I've been experimenting with applying product to less than soaking wet hair and the results have been fantastic.
Originally Posted by Corrina777
Thinner clumps is very different from "soft waves" or unclumpy though. I achieve thinner clumps the same way you do (raking in, applying to nonsoaking hair, protein also tends to break up my clumps a little more). Thinner clumps mean more volume for me but it also means my hair is more... see-through? I actually prefer bigger clumps if it weren't for the loss of volume.
Originally Posted by wavydaze
To soften the look of clumps (what I think you're talking about), best bet would probably be a lighter hold product and/or some very careful finger combing post-SOTC. Looking at the picture above, I see smaller clumps, but they are less defined than many of the pics I see, and look similar to the results I get if I use a light hold gel.

3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel