Are you only stripping in the running line? I tend to fish all the way to my feet. That is, I strip in the full head, all the way to the leader. Then, a couple of false casts to get the head back outside the guides, a big double haul, then shoot the running line. I don't false-cast with the running line, but I do fish with the head. Seems kind of a waste of 35'+ of cast to pick up as soon as the head gets inside the guides. Am I misunderstanding something?
As to giving up those fish that "follow all the way in" I addressed my impression on that in an earlier post in this thread "Yup. I usually stop my retrieve before getting the head in the tip, or with versitip lines before the loop comes in the tip. With poppers I 'll always tease a little before pulling in all of the running line. The "they hit right at the tip top" thing is kind of a myth. They actually hit where you stopped your normal retrieve and went into your pickup routine. If you retrieved all the way to your leader, that's where it happened. if you stopped retrieving 37 feet out, that's where it happened. There's no magic in the tip top... We fishers are a superstitious bunch who don't engage in much deep thought... I do tease before I start my pickup. I just start doing it with 10 feet of running line out of the tip, instead of when the fly is in sight.
this is all just the way I've decided to fish. It works really well. Richard, Stonefish and anyone else who regularly catches fish have developed their own systems that also work EXTREMELY well. As an example I think Les has some ideas in fly selection that are way too complicated. I'd argue with him on that to the end. Would I EVER bet against him catching at least as many if not MORE fish than me if we were standing side by side? Nope! His attention to fly design might just be what makes the difference THAT DAY. Richard and Stonefish stripping in that last 30 feet may just be the difference THAT DAY. Any my fly spending more time in the water may be the difference THAT DAY. We've all come to the conclusions we have come to based on the payoff we get. We're all gambling that of all the things that MIGHT work on a particular day, our standard approach is the one that's going to pay off.