1. Use the Rod to Make the Twitch
I often say, when it comes to mending line, roll casts, and so forth, "They make fly rods 9 feet long for a reason." Use that leverage of the long rod to create the popper action. After you make a cast against the bank or over the weeds, simply lift the tip of your rod with an abrupt flick. It isn't much more than a twitch. That little flick gives the popper just the right action. It shouldn't pull the fly out of the water. Stripping with the line plows the popper a bit deeper, which is fine, but the sporadic flick of the rod tip, skyward, works much better. After you flick, remember to strip in the slack line you've created.