This is how I laid down a lot of poly with a minimum of effort. It
worked for me anyway.
During construction of our home last year I Minwax stained and
polyurethaned approx 150 lineal feet of 6x12 beams, 250 lineal feet of
6x6 beams and at least a gazillion lineal feet of 1x4 and 1x6 trim
(baseboard, door frame and windows) all in white pine.
I rolled every inch using smooth 4" and 6" rollers and then back
brushed using a bristle brush to smooth and remove bubble craters. 1
coat of stain, 2 coats of satin (sanding between coats) and a final
coat of of semi-gloss.
All the pine beams and trim combined with white oak floors really looks
nice and homey with a "log cabin" feel.