Soft maple will get splotchy because the density of the wood varies so much from spot to spot. If you can sand it back to where you're happy with it, you might try to seal it & sand it first and then spray a tinted clear over the sealer.
Hard maple doesn't seem to be as bad, but it can still be splotchy. Figured maple soaks up the stain in the end grain of the figuring so it usually looks nice with stain, or at least hides the splotch in the figure.
Telecaster - The AK-47 of the guitar world. Some may think its ugly...but it works!