You may just be blessed with naturally spirally hair! In which case, don't worry about using a gel. I've experimented with gels only because i feel i "need" to because every other curly seems to use one! (i've just ordered some Confident Coils because I can't help but think "i'll give it one more go, i might be missing out" it'll probably be on the swap board in a week ). My experience is usually the opposite of what most people report, I get droopy curls when i DO use gel because my hair is so easily weighed down, gels seems to stop it springing up! I find leave-ins or coconut oil help my hair hold a curl better as the better moisturised my hair is the more it springs up. I do have quite fine hair though so i can see that if i had a thicker hair i'd need hold.
Best of Luck!