Not sure I can put it into words so it's clear, but when I fish the 3wt I have better success with a "strip set". I use my "line hand" to "jerk" the line a few inches when I get a hit, and try to retrieve the fly with the rod pointed more at the fly & line than with my heavier rods. Not straight at it, but probably a 20º angle between the rod & line.
Not sure it's the correct way, but it works for me.
BTW - I make sure my hooks are sharp, too.