single-run hori-vert (2F/PB) SMAW fillets getting near-perfect

Hiya
Can't believe this! I'm not easily optimising and arriving on the perfect repeatable condition, despite all these years welding,
It's about productivity. I can do it perfectly, but when I try to push up the rate of work, things aren't proving absolutely easy. Obviously, I'd like to get close to MIG / GMAW productivity.
I'm doing a lot of single-run hori-vert. fillet welds with SMAW / "stick" on straight-forward structural steels in the 6mm to 8mm thickness range. SMAW as I am outdoors in the wind, there is some moisture and contamination, etc. Plus the MIG welding machine is often in use elsewhere so to get the job done, haul out a "stick" welder...
Job has various gusset plates, etc - so they don't need a big weld. The limitation is the buckling resistance of the overall plate shapes.
One way to get a perfect repeatable small fillet with a 2.5mm / 3/32nd 7018 rod. That has you down at about 90A to 100A. So quite slow. No clean-up as perfect small size, etc.
The problem comes when trying to be more productive.
Increase the rod size with 7018 and the rod wants to run slower and build a larger fillet size than you need. When I run faster I find the arc is chugging great big boulders of metal globules around the weld. Loads of time cleaning up.
Trying to run fast, went over to 6012 / 6013 on DCEN. So that bigger electrode leaves a small fillet (given 6012/6013 on DCEN run-out at about rod-length, whereas 7018 run-out at about half the rod length(?)) Small 6013 not penetrative / "fusive" enough and curse of "wandering arc" depositing metal on one plate or the other but not fusing the corner. Found some 5mm 6012's in the stock cupboard. Tested bead-on-plate, they do indeed run smoothly at 200A. And like to run fast, with bead size good.
Go into the fillet corner and sometimes I get a near-perfect weld, and sometimes I am getting big globular spatters again. It's something to do with angles and arc-length. With my right hand welding towards me, it tends to be stunningly perfect. Any other - globular spatters. That must be angles etc - and I cannot see what it is at the mo.
Fillet is actually a bit bigger than needed with 5mm 6012. Obviously oversized bead very much reduces productivity.
Is rod size so critical than I need to get 4mm / 5/32nd" 6012 / 6013 rods? Looks like...
If anyone has been in this place of trying to get good welds while trying to compete with GMAW productivity while using SMAW, I'd be interested to hear your experience.
Regards, Rich Smith
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Additional: 6012 - run very short arc with flux scraping the plates. Bead width less than the width of the electrode with flux. Sounds right - smooth hissing arc when running right. When ejecting huge globs - choking sound from arc and welding machine (Powcon about 300A machine). Sounds about right?
Drawing a longer arc by pulling electrode away from plate corner doesn't seem to do anything good for you. Is as if sufficient arc-length under electrode when "scraping" and moving fast leaving a small bead.
BTW - with the Basics / 7018's and some 6013's/6012's, am getting self-peeling slag - so technique no a million miles off?! When running right and not throwing out spatter...
Rich
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