The plopping thing doesn't work for me either. Sounds like your hair loves moisture and dislikes arid weather. When weather is arid, there are several products that are generally to be avoided (anti-humectants like glycerin, mineral oil or honey, which can dry out the hair more), so you may want to make sure you carefully evaluate your winter routine w/that in mind. Frequent DTs in winter are great too.
I take it you're not interested in cutting layers then. The look isn't for everyone lol ... plus for some it can be high maintenance.
But, not saying this is definitely the case, it could be the "cure" to your root volume issue won't be solved by chasing after the "right" combo of products. Unless you want to tease your roots w/a comb, you may just have to accept that this is how your hair is at the length that it is. ... The sad alternative could be more aggressive styling methods (curl sets, a perm on top of natural curls (ick!), sleeping upside down ...). I can just tell you, as someone who has also chased after root lift, the only thing that worked for me, w/limited hassle, was to cut my hair shorter in certain areas.