For retrieve I strip line rather than twitch the rod too. But then I'll wait - up to a minute before the next retrieve.
I find a lot of hits have come whilst the popper is sitting stationary on the surface.
My experience (so far) confirms this irrespective of the species or environment - Striped Bass, Barracuda and Giant Trevally in saltwater and Smallmouth Bass in fresh.
Full blooded attacks as the bug hits the water are tops