ok so a "bunch of rods". that means you are stick welding. take a look at the Numbers on the sides of the Rods. chances are strong that it will ether be a E6011, E6010, or E7018. if it says E7018 it should be stored in a rod oven. if its not that could be part of the prob. if your welding with the E7018 strike the ark with the rod at about a 60 degree angle back words, and have the pudlle chasing the rod as you drag the rod. dont try to do any fancy patterns as your draging it. just run a straight bead. 7018 runs a nice bead that way. if your using E6011 or E6010 strike the ark at amoast a 90 dergee angle only angled back a little. once you get a good puddle going, whip the rod folward about an inch for a sec. then bring it back so that the new mettle you are deposeting is partualy over lapping the were the origanal pudlle. then repeat this motion all the way down the jiont you are welding. if you cant get the hang of that do the small circles Ronn was talking about.