When lighting a fire with a ferro rod you will need ideal tinder. In my area dried poplar bark is the best stuff around in the pictures bellow you can get an idea of what it looks like.
Then take the back of your knife and scrape fine shavings of bark. Do this until you have a large heap of shavings.
Next put the tip of the ferro rod in the nest of tinder and strike the farro rod. It can take quite a few strikes, but with practice this method can be very effective. This tinder nest only took me three strikes to light. But do not be discouraged if it takes you a while. Your first try making a fire like this you may give up and resort back to matches! but after a few fires you will be getting it in two and three strikes!
Once you’ve got the tinder lit, slowly add small twigs and leaves until your fire gets bigger and bigger.
Make sure your fire is completely out before you leave. Smoky will like you much better that way!