Jared, I agree with what navycop10 has suggested, that's very similar to how I fish poppers most of the time. One thought, if the poppers you're using have a lot of paint build-up around the hook eye, essentially turning them into a slider, that could also be part of your problem particularly when they're small & have a flat face. I've shaved away paint with a utility knife blade on poppers to rid them of excess paint & open up the hook eye. They end up looking like heck, but the fish don't care about the paint anyway.
I've seen many commercially produced poppers that had that problem, simply because they're often dipped in paint and hung up so that the excess drips from the hook eye.
Another thought, is your line tip sinking any? A floating line that soaks up water into the tip end will often pull a popper under, because you get the same result as using a sink tip line. You want to be sure your line is floating. Your leader can sink some, as long as it's not sinking deep, but the fly line, because of it's weight, should not. If the line is sinking, then you need to use an appropriate line dressing (the line maker should recommend one as not all dressings are compatible with all lines). Of course, I'm making the assumption that you're using a floating line, which you should be.
I've been making my own for many, many years & seldom have issues with them popping.
If possible, post some pictures of the poppers your having problems with, perhaps that will help diagnose the issue.