Re: line kick
Make sure your power application on the forward cast is gentle and gradual leading up to the powerful acceleration and hard stop. Shortening your leader might help as well, down to more like 6' instead of 9'. 8lb/3x is plenty light for bass.
Also, the cupped face on poppers lends itself to sort of a "knuckleball effect" as it flies through the air. (If its asymmetrical from above, it'll be worse) Throwing a diving fly with a more sloped/pointed head might help.