I have never really used gel at all on my hair- my hair hates gel and will not cooperate if I use it. That's why I have pretty much been a conditioner-only girl since the 10th grade (and I'm 34 now). I used to slather my hair in Tresseme for years and years, but now I use GVP Tea Tree (Paul Mitchell knockoff) and Aussie Moist. Both are thick conditioners with a lot of slip. They are not CG though so I don't know if that's a factor for you.

Conditioner gives you hold, curl definition, and depending on the brand can leave your hair either shiny or dull, but at least you're not going to be crunchy.
"The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everybody else."
"...rationality is not necessary to sell things.."
My staples: Mane n Tail (cowash), Garnier Fructis Sleek n Shine (leave in condish), Grapeseed oil or shea butter (sealing), Organic Root Stimulator Elasticitea (leave-in condish & light hold)