I think FishHawk hit the nail on the head with this one. Also, you will want to work in a warm, dry environment. If you are doing it out in your garage or some other cold place the stuff will set up quick even if you follow FishHawk’s advise. You may also want to use a lighter to heat it up after you have applied it. Do not apply the flame directly to the finish, this will burn it and screw it up, but hold it close enough to slightly warm the finish. If you do this while the rod is turning on the drying rack it should help you get out any lumps as well as popping any bubbles in the finish.