Hi, I am looking for help/tips on poppers. When I got my first cheap fly rod package it came with a small popper with feather tail and I found some old ones my dad had. They had small flat faced bodies with a tiny bit of feathers and fairly large hooks. I was able to easily get them to pop with bubbles on the water and a nice sound and caught a lot of bass and sunfish. Anyway I ended up losing them.
I got a lot more different poppers with flat and cupped faces but I can't seem to get any of them to pop consistently (if at all). They usually just dive under. I can't seem to catch much of anything except sunfish on the initial splash. Some of the poppers even sink? I used to use 4lb ice fishing line as a tippet and now use either 8lb fluoro or mono. I have even tried perfection loops which seem to help a bit but nothing like it used to be.
I know a lot of people say small movements and such but I can only catch bass by popping and would really like to figure out what happened? I've also tried cutting off feathers and rubber legs to make some look really similar to what worked less the larger hook.
What am I doing wrong and what happened? Even some fairly big cupped poppers I got seem to dive under more than anything. I'm also not sure if I mean popping or gurgling? I need a noise like a pop with bubbles on the surface of the water. Should I try gurgler flies instead? Sorry for the babbling and all the questions but I really miss my good old days and should be getting better instead of worse.