I don't know if he originated the idea of doing a linking effect with ropes, but E.J. Moore did created "The Linking Ropes" with magnet gimmicks. Can't recall seeing a linking rope routine prior to that anywhere--but that certainly doesn't mean it doesn't exist. However, if it does exist, then you get back to what you are doing now, which is having the extra piece (no magnet).
By the way, there are some superb Linking Rope routines out there that haven't been published in English. Sawa of Japan and Jean Merlin of France both have killer/fooler routines.