I dunno if you've found a gel technique that you like, but this is what I've started to do with my growing hair (BC'd last summer, it's to the tops of my shoulders curly now): I grab about half a palmful of gel in one hand, rub it between my two hands, and apply that just to the very ends. Then I smooth the rest of my gel on in sections. I've found that the biggest part for me is not being shy/skimpy with my gel. I use cheap gel (LA Looks, La Bella) for that exact reason. This may or may not work for you, I'm currently dealing with what we call "extreme" weather (it's not even 7:30 and we're alerady at temps of 77 with dews at 73). But..that might help.
Roll Tide!
I was at the 2009 and 2011 BCS National Championship Games

Medium-coarse, super high density, normal porosity, low elasticity.
I'm currently trying out various Curl Junkie and Devacurl products.

Fotki: fotki.com/rolltidegal
password is 'rolltide'