I assume your cable question is for the last stretch of cable ending at the derailleur. This should have a nice relaxed loop so that the cable does not bind. For most RDs ( Rapid Rise is an exception) the movement up the cogs from small to large is pulling on the cable and making it tighter, so problems with this direction would indicate a cable that is too loose. Go back to the small cog, make sure your stop screw is set to center the RD on the cog, and get the cable good and tight. Then click up. Re tighten with the cable adjuster if needed.
Going in reverse, when there is a problem going from large to small cogs, the problem is a cable that is too tight, so you loosen to get the RD to move away from the wheel. As you can see, you will need to be between too tight and too loose. You also need both stop screws set to line up with the cogs at each end.